Product Market Competition, Wages and Productivity: International Evidence from Establishment-Level Data

Dartmouth Working Paper 95-11

Posted: 25 Jun 1998

See all articles by David G. Blanchflower

David G. Blanchflower

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); University of Stirling - Department of Economics

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 1995

Abstract

Increased product market competition should affect outcomes in labour and product markets, and one of the key premises of standard economic theory is that, all other things held constant, prices should be lower and efficiency enhanced by more competition. In this paper we directly test this notion by considering the relationship between product market competition and establishment-level wages and economic performance. We use two microeconomic data sources from Britain and Australia to consider this relationship. Our results find only a limited role for market competition to impact on wages and productivity. In British workplaces, labour productivity is not raised by more competition, whilst in Australia we can only find evidence of the conventionally expected positive impact in manufacturing workplaces. With respect to wages, the results are more consistent with the competition hypothesis, though effects are not that strong, with significant effects only being found for some of the skill groups within our samples of establishments. Hence, there is only very limited support for the key hypothesis of interest that we consider.

JEL Classification: J0

Suggested Citation

Blanchflower, David G. and Machin, Stephen J., Product Market Competition, Wages and Productivity: International Evidence from Establishment-Level Data (March 1995 ). Dartmouth Working Paper 95-11, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3068

David G. Blanchflower (Contact Author)

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

Hanover, NH 03755
United States
603-646-2536 (Phone)
603-646-2122 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

University of Stirling - Department of Economics ( email )

Stirling, FK9 4LA
United Kingdom

Stephen J. Machin

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

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