Measuring Imperfect Competition in Product and Labor Markets. An Empirical Analysis Using Firm-Level Production Data

53 Pages Posted: 11 Jan 2018 Last revised: 24 Sep 2018

See all articles by Dario Tortarolo

Dario Tortarolo

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Roman D. Zarate

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 8, 2018

Abstract

We disentangle the extent of imperfect competition in product and labor markets using plant-level data. We derive a formula for the ratio between markups and markdowns assuming cost-minimizing firms that face upward-sloping labor supply and downward-sloping product demand curves. We then separate this combined measure of market power by estimating firm-level labor supply elasticities instrumenting wages with intermediate inputs. Our results suggest that both markets exhibit imperfect competition, but the variation is mainly driven by markups. We also estimate the relative gains of removing market power dispersion on allocative efficiency, finding that markups are more important on TFP than markdowns.

Keywords: Imperfect Competition, Markups, Markdowns, Misallocation

JEL Classification: L1, J42, D22

Suggested Citation

Tortarolo, Dario and Zarate, Roman D., Measuring Imperfect Competition in Product and Labor Markets. An Empirical Analysis Using Firm-Level Production Data (January 8, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3098141 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3098141

Dario Tortarolo (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

CA
United States

Roman D. Zarate

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

CA
United States

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