IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tcd/tcduee/tep0621.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Concrete Thinking About Development

Author

Listed:
  • Martina Kirchberger

    (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)

  • Keelan Beirne

    (Department of Economics, Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper uses new micro-data on key input prices in the construction sector and market structure to understand the reasons for price differences and their implications for capital accumulation. Our key motivating facts are that (i) there is large dispersion in prices of eight key construction sector inputs and that cement prices were particularly high in Sub-Saharan Africa compared to the rest of the world; (ii) using data on the market structure of the cement industry at a global level, cement prices are highest in countries with few firms; (iii) cement plays a significant role in construction sector expenditures, particularly in the poorest countries. Estimates from our model of oligopoly suggest that lower levels of competition lead to significantly higher prices. Financial accounts data point toward substantial pure profits, and there is no evidence from plant size distributions that minimum efficient scale is driving high prices. Finally, embedding the oligopoly model into a neoclassical growth model, we show that distortions in investment producing sectors have a disproportionate impact on productive capacity and that the steady-state capital stock in the poorest countries is most sensitive to changes in markups in cement.

Suggested Citation

  • Martina Kirchberger & Keelan Beirne, 2021. "Concrete Thinking About Development," Trinity Economics Papers tep0621, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0621
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.tcd.ie/Economics/TEP/2021/TEP0621.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Johannes Boehm & Ezra Oberfield, 2020. "Misallocation in the Market for Inputs: Enforcement and the Organization of Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(4), pages 2007-2058.
    2. Vasco M. Carvalho, 2014. "From Micro to Macro via Production Networks," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
    3. Steven Berry & Martin Gaynor & Fiona Scott Morton, 2019. "Do Increasing Markups Matter? Lessons from Empirical Industrial Organization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 33(3), pages 44-68, Summer.
    4. H. Uzawa, 1971. "On a Two-Sector Model of Economic Growth," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: F. H. Hahn (ed.), Readings in the Theory of Growth, chapter 3, pages 19-26, Palgrave Macmillan.
    5. Banu Demir & Ana Cecília Fieler & Daniel Xu & Kelly Kaili Yang, 2021. "O-Ring Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 28433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    7. Vasco M Carvalho & Makoto Nirei & Yukiko U Saito & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 0. "Supply Chain Disruptions: Evidence from the Great East Japan Earthquake," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(2), pages 1255-1321.
    8. Vasco M. Carvalho, 2014. "From Micro to Macro via Production Networks," Working Papers 793, Barcelona School of Economics.
    9. Ariel T. Burstein & João C. Neves & Sergio Rebelo, 2004. "Investment Prices and Exchange Rates: Some Basic Facts," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(2-3), pages 302-309, 04/05.
    10. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    11. Lars-Hendrik Röller & Frode Steen, 2006. "On the Workings of a Cartel: Evidence from the Norwegian Cement Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 321-338, March.
    12. Bekkers, Eddy & Francois, Joseph, 2013. "Trade and industrial structure with large firms and heterogeneity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 69-90.
    13. Julieta Caunedo & Elisa Keller, 0. "Capital Obsolescence and Agricultural Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(1), pages 505-561.
    14. David Rezza Baqaee, 2018. "Cascading Failures in Production Networks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 86(5), pages 1819-1838, September.
    15. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Trade in capital goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1195-1235.
    16. Julieta Caunedo & Elisa Keller, 2021. "Capital Obsolescence and Agricultural Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 136(1), pages 505-561.
    17. Daron Acemoglu & Veronica Guerrieri, 2008. "Capital Deepening and Nonbalanced Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 467-498, June.
    18. Atkin, David & Donaldson, Dave, 2015. "Who’s Getting Globalized? The Size and Implications of Intra-national Trade Costs," CEPR Discussion Papers 10759, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Ernest Liu, 2019. "Industrial Policies in Production Networks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(4), pages 1883-1948.
    20. Francesco Caselli & James Feyrer, 2007. "The Marginal Product of Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 535-568.
    21. Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "The Costs of Environmental Regulation in a Concentrated Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(3), pages 1019-1061, May.
    22. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 562-585, June.
    23. SchmitzJr, James A., 2001. "Government production of investment goods and aggregate labor productivity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 163-187, February.
    24. McBride, Mark E, 1983. "Spatial Competition and Vertical Integration: Cement and Concrete Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1011-1022, December.
    25. Michael Peters, 2020. "Heterogeneous Markups, Growth, and Endogenous Misallocation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(5), pages 2037-2073, September.
    26. Jones, Charles I., 1994. "Economic growth and the relative price of capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 359-382, December.
    27. Nathan H. Miller & Matthew Osborne, 2014. "Spatial differentiation and price discrimination in the cement industry: evidence from a structural model," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 45(2), pages 221-247, June.
    28. Lauren Falcao Bergquist & Michael Dinerstein, 2020. "Competition and Entry in Agricultural Markets: Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(12), pages 3705-3747, December.
    29. Basile Grassi, 2018. "IO in I-O: Size, Industrial Organization, and the Input-Output NetworkMake a Firm Structurally Important," Working Papers 619, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    30. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
    31. Baqaee, David Rezza & Farhi, Emmanuel, 2018. "The Microeconomic foundations of Aggregate Production Functions," CEPR Discussion Papers 13362, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    32. Johannes Boehm & Ezra Oberfield, 2020. "Misallocation in the Market for Inputs: Enforcement and the Organization of Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(4), pages 2007-2058.
    33. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    34. Restuccia, Diego & Urrutia, Carlos, 2001. "Relative prices and investment rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 93-121, February.
    35. De Loecker, Jan & Eeckhout, Jan, 2018. "Global Market Power," CEPR Discussion Papers 13009, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Fabrizio Leone & Rocco Macchiavello & Tristan Reed, 2022. "Market size, markups and international price dispersion in the cement industry," CEP Discussion Papers dp1862, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Matthew Elliott & Benjamin Golub & Matthew V. Leduc, 2022. "Supply Network Formation and Fragility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 112(8), pages 2701-2747, August.
    2. Chen, Chaoran, 2020. "Technology adoption, capital deepening, and international productivity differences," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    3. Alonso de Gortari, 2018. "Disentangling Global Value Chains," 2018 Meeting Papers 139, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Fabrizio Leone & Rocco Macchiavello & Tristan Reed, 2022. "Market size, markups and international price dispersion in the cement industry," CEP Discussion Papers dp1862, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    5. Vasco M. Carvalho & Alireza Tahbaz-Salehi, 2019. "Production Networks: A Primer," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 635-663, August.
    6. Huremovic, Kenan & Jiménez, Gabriel & Moral-Benito, Enrique & Vega-Redondo, Fernando & Peydró, José-Luis, 2020. "Production and financial networks in interplay: Crisis evidence from supplier-customer and credit registers," EconStor Preprints 222281, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    7. Thomas J. Sargent & John Stachurski, 2022. "Economic Networks: Theory and Computation," Papers 2203.11972, arXiv.org, revised Jul 2022.
    8. Ernest Liu & Aleh Tsyvinski, 2021. "Dynamical Structure and Spectral Properties of Input-Output Networks," Working Papers 2021-13, Princeton University. Economics Department..
    9. Goya, Daniel, 2021. "The network effect of Chinese competition on what domestic suppliers produce," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    10. Glenn Magerman & Karolien De Bruyne & Emmanuel Dhyne & Jan Van Hove, 2016. "Heterogeneous Firms and the Micro Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2016-35, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Bloom, Nicholas & Iacovone, Leonardo & Pereira-López, Mariana & Van Reenen, John, 2022. "Management and Misallocation in Mexico," CEPR Discussion Papers 16979, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Weicheng Lian & Natalija Novta & Evgenia Pugacheva & Yannick Timmer & Petia Topalova, 0. "The Price of Capital Goods: A Driver of Investment Under Threat," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 0, pages 1-41.
    13. Herrendorf, Berthold & Teixeira, Arilton, 2003. "Monopoly Rights can Reduce Income Big Time," CEPR Discussion Papers 3854, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Stephie Fried & David Lagakos, 2020. "Electricity and Firm Productivity: A General-Equilibrium Approach," NBER Working Papers 27081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Pol Antràs & Davin Chor, 2021. "Global Value Chains," NBER Working Papers 28549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. ARATA Yoshiyuki & MIYAKAWA Daisuke, 2022. "Demand Shock Propagation Through an Input-output Network in Japan," Discussion papers 22027, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    17. Mathieu Taschereau-Dumouchel, 2017. "Cascades and Fluctuations in an Economy with an Endogenous Production Network," 2017 Meeting Papers 700, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Weicheng Lian & Natalija Novta & Evgenia Pugacheva & Yannick Timmer & Petia Topalova, 2020. "The Price of Capital Goods: A Driver of Investment Under Threat," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 68(3), pages 509-549, September.
    19. Leone, Fabrizio & Macchiavello, Rocco & Reed, Tristan, 2021. "The Falling Price of Cement in Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 16253, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Liang, Yan, 2022. "Impact of financial development on outsourcing and aggregate productivity," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    construction; infrastructure; capital; cement; investment; markups; general equilibrium;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • H54 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Infrastructures
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L74 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Construction
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:tep0621. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/detcdie.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Colette Angelov (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/detcdie.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.