Quantifying the Gap between Equilibrium and Optimum Under Monopolistic Competition

72 Pages Posted: 20 Mar 2018

See all articles by Kristian Behrens

Kristian Behrens

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics

Giordano Mion

University of Sussex - Department of Economics; London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Centre for Economic Performance (CEP); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Yasusada Murata

Nihon University

Jens Suedekum

Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Date Written: January 10, 2018

Abstract

Equilibria and optima generally differ in imperfectly competitive markets. While this is well understood theoretically, it is unclear how large the welfare distortions are in the aggregate economy. Do they matter quantitatively? To answer this question, we develop a multi-sector monopolistic competition model with endogenous firm entry and selection, productivity, and markups. Using French and British data, we quantify the gap between the equilibrium and optimal allocations. In our preferred specification, inefficiencies in the labor allocation and entry between sectors, as well as inefficient selection and output per firm within sectors, generate welfare losses of about 6–10% of GDP.

Keywords: monopolistic competition; welfare distortions; equilibrium versus optimum; inefficient entry and selection; inter- and intra-sectoral allocations

JEL Classification: D43; D50; L13

Suggested Citation

Behrens, Kristian and Mion, Giordano and Murata, Yasusada and Südekum, Jens, Quantifying the Gap between Equilibrium and Optimum Under Monopolistic Competition (January 10, 2018). Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 185/EC/2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144378 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3144378

Kristian Behrens (Contact Author)

University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM) - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 8888, Downtown Station
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3P8
Canada

Giordano Mion

University of Sussex - Department of Economics ( email )

Falmer, Brighton BN1 9SL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/site/giordanomionhp/

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

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Yasusada Murata

Nihon University ( email )

Tokyo
Japan

Jens Südekum

Heinrich-Heine-University Duesseldorf, Duesseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) ( email )

Universitaetsstr. 1
Duesseldorf, NRW 40225
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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