Mr. Federico J Diez, Jiayue Fan, and Carolina Villegas-Sánchez
Using a new firm-level dataset on private and listed firms from 20 countries, we document
five stylized facts on market power in global markets. First, competition has declined
around the world, measured as a moderate increase in average firm markups during 2000-
2015. Second, the markup increase is driven by already high-markup firms (top decile of
the markup distribution) that charge increasing markups. Third, markups increased mostly
among advanced economies but not in emerging markets. Fourth, there is a non-monotonic
relation between firm size and markups that is first decreasing and then increasing. Finally,
the increase is mostly driven by increases within incumbents and also by market share
reallocation towards high-markup entrants.
This paper emphasizes the importance of total factor productivity (TFP) developments in the nontradables sector to quantitatively demonstrate that the time-honored Balassa-Samuelson hypothesis does not generally apply to episodes of economic growth. Though the Balassa- Samuelson hypothesis postulates that strong economic growth should, in general, be accompanied by a real appreciation in exchange rates, this paper does not find such systematic links. This is because some growth spurts are marked by equal TFP gains in both the tradables and nontradables sectors, and others by larger TFP gains in the nontradables sector.
Mr. Willy A Hoffmaister, Mr. David T. Coe, and Mr. Elhanan Helpman
The empirical analysis in "International R&D Spillovers" (Coe and Helpman, 1995) is first revisited by applying modern panel cointegration estimation techniques to an expanded data set that we have constructed for the purpose of this study. The new estimates confirm the key results reported in Coe and Helpman about the impact of domestic and foreign R&D capital stocks on TFP. In addition, we show that domestic and foreign R&D capital stocks have measurable impacts on TFP even after controlling for the impact of human capital. Furthermore, we extend the analysis to include institutional variables, such as legal origin and patent protection, in order to allow for parameter heterogeneity based on a country's institutional characteristics. The results suggest that institutional differences are important determinants of total factor productivity and that they impact the degree of R&D spillovers.
Ms. Ling H Tan, Ms. Kala Krishna, and Mr. Ram Ranjan
This paper models investment/entry decisions in a competitive industry that is subject to a quantity control on an input for production. The quantity control is implemented by auctioning licenses for the restricted input (e.g., a pollution permit or a production license). The paper shows that liberalizing the quantity control could reduce investment in the industry under certain circumstances. Furthermore, the level of investment is quite different when licenses are tradable than when they are not. Key factors in the comparison include the elasticity of demand for the final good and the degree of input substitutability. Two examples are computed to illustrate the results.
We revisit the time-honored link between productivity and the real exchange rate. Consistent with the traditional view, we find that higher labor productivity tends to lead to appreciation of the real exchange rate. Contrary to the traditional view, however, we find that the positive productivity effect is transmitted through the real exchange rate based on tradable prices, rather than through relative prices between tradables and nontradables. Moreover, higher total factor productivity is found, if anything, to lead to depreciation of the real exchange rate. These last two pieces of evidence provide support for the emerging view that limited tradability of goods and services provides scope for the strategic pricing decision, which has material consequences for the aggregate real exchange rate.