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Competition and Performance: The Different Roles of Capital and Labor

  • Thijs ten Raa

    ()

  • Pierre Mohnen

Neoclassical economists argue that competition promotes efficiency. They consider technology as given though. In the long run technological progress is an important determinant of the level of welfare and Schumpeter argued that monopoly rents help entrepreneurs to capture the gains of R&D and hence to invest in it. We investigate the overall effect of competition on performance. Performance is measured by TFP-growth. As a negative measure of competition we use rent. Rent is defined as the excess factor rewards over and above their perfectly competitive values (marginal productivities). Input-output analysis enables us to calculate rent for the Canadian sectors over a thirty-year period and to decompose it in its capital and labor components. In line with the literature we find that rent has no significant influence on productivity. We find an interesting result however: the components influence performance in opposite directions. Capital rent has a positive role and labor rent a negative one. The neoclassical economists and Schumpeter seem both right, but the mechanisms differ. The use of rent as a source of funding for R&D applies to capital and the argument that rent yields slack pertains to labor.

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File URL: http://www-sre.wu-wien.ac.at/ersa/ersaconfs/ersa03/cdrom/papers/10.pdf
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Paper provided by European Regional Science Association in its series ERSA conference papers with number ersa03p10.

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Date of creation: Aug 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa03p10
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  1. Mohnen, P. & Ten Raa, T., 2000. "A general equilibrium analysis of the evolution of Canadian service productivity," Other publications TiSEM aae1ef0b-8460-49d3-bb4e-8, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  2. Nickell, Stephen J, 1996. "Competition and Corporate Performance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(4), pages 724-46, August.
  3. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted U Relationship," NBER Working Papers 9269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Surendra Gera & Wulong Gu & Zhengxi Lin, 2001. "Technology and the demand for skills in Canada: an industry-level analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(1), pages 132-148, February.
  5. Ten Raa, T., 2004. "Aggregation of Productivity Indices : The Allocative Efficiency Correction," Discussion Paper 2004-62, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  6. Ten Raa, T. & Mohnen, P., 2002. "Neoclassical growth accounting and frontier analysis : A synthesis," Other publications TiSEM b3c67537-f899-4cf5-a5cb-c, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  7. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  8. Harris, Christopher & Howitt, Peter & Vickers, John & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Scholarly Articles 12375013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Ten Raa, T., 2005. "Aggregation of productivity indices : The allocative efficiency correction," Other publications TiSEM 0c775438-4bfa-44bd-8111-2, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  10. Boone, Jan, 2001. "Intensity of competition and the incentive to innovate," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 705-726, April.
  11. Edward Wolff, 2006. "The growth of information workers in the US economy, 1950-2000: the role of technological change, computerization, and structural change," Economic Systems Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 221-255.
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