Import Competition and Firm Productivity: Evidence from German Manufacturing
Abstract We study how different types of import competition affect firm productivity using firm-product data from German manufacturing (2000-2014). Competition from high-income countries causes affected domestic firms to increase their productivity and lower their prices. Oppositely, import competition from low-wage countries does not lead to firm productivity gains. Instead, domestic firms' sales and input usage decline. Our findings confirm the intuition of ladder models that the effect of competition depends on the "closeness" of competitors. They are in line with widespread X-inefficiencies throughout the economy, which firms reduce in response to competition from high-income countries.
22.06.2023 • 16/2023
Revival in service sectors, but industrial activity remains weak for the time being
After the recession during winter, the German economy will expand at a moderate pace in the coming quarters and despite higher interest rates, as private consumption will pick up again with slowly declining inflation and increased wage momentum. In its summer forecast, the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) expects gross domestic product to decline by 0.3% in 2023, while growth of 1.7% is forecast for the coming year.
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Sources of Large Firms’ Market Power and Why It Matters
Excessive market power has detrimental effects on the functioning of the economy, raising consumer prices, distorting the allocation of resources, and creating welfare losses. The existing literature has largely focussed on competition in product markets. This column argues that it is important to differentiate between various sources of firm market power on output and input (most notably labour) markets. European firm-level data reveals that large firms charge lower markups in product markets but exert their market power significantly in labour markets. Competition authorities can and must distinguish between the sources of market power when attempting to regulate it.
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