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The Response by the Norwegian Aluminium Industry to Changing Market Structure




This paper analyses how changes in market structure have affected the margins (measured by the Lerner index) of Norwegian aluminium plants. Instead of showing the expected negative trend, due to increased competition internationally, the margins are found to move procyclically around a constant that significantly exceeds zero. Three explanations for this stability in the levels of the margins are identified; a better exploitation of scale economies, increased productivity and product specialisation which allows Norwegian producer prices to increase more rapidly than the international reference price.

Suggested Citation

  • Kjersti-Gro Lindquist, 1998. "The Response by the Norwegian Aluminium Industry to Changing Market Structure," Discussion Papers 237, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:237

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
    2. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
    3. repec:adr:anecst:y:1989:i:15-16:p:13 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Reynolds, Stanley S, 1986. "Strategic Capital Investment in the American Aluminum Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(3), pages 225-245, March.
    5. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1987. "Oligopoly Supergames: Some Empirical Evidence on Prices and Margins," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 379-398, June.
    6. Gilbert, Christopher L, 1995. "Modelling Market Fundamentals: A Model of the Aluminum Market," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(4), pages 385-410, Oct.-Dec..
    7. Bils, Mark, 1987. "The Cyclical Behavior of Marginal Cost and Price," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 838-855, December.
    8. Engle, Robert F. & Yoo, Byung Sam, 1987. "Forecasting and testing in co-integrated systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 143-159, May.
    9. Mizon, Grayham E, 1977. "Inferential Procedures in Nonlinear Models: An Application in a UK Industrial Cross Section Study of Factor Substitution and Returns to Scale," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(5), pages 1221-1242, July.
    10. Froeb, Luke & Geweke, John, 1987. "Long run competition in the U.S. aluminum industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 67-78, March.
    11. A. P. Lerner, 1934. "The Concept of Monopoly and the Measurement of Monopoly Power," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 157-175.
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    More about this item


    Lerner index; Translog cost function; Aluminium industry; Differentiated products;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • L61 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics


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