Under perfect competition, productivity growth leads firms to expand production and demand more inputs. If firms have market power, I prove that this is not always the case. At high levels of markups, firms may reduce their input demand when they become more productive. This decoupling of input demand from productivity growth is driven by the incomplete pass-through of productivity to output. I characterize the theoretical conditions that lead to this result in terms of the shape of output demand and market structure. Many widely-used demand functions meet these conditions in workhorse models of monopolistic and oligopolistic competition. I also discuss under what circumstances this decoupling can be detected in the data. In an empirical illustration based on Chinese manufacturing firms, I find patterns consistent with this result in many narrowly-defined industries.

Keywords: productivity, derived factor demand, firm-level markups, incomplete pass-through.

Presented at: 22nd CEPR/JIE Conference on Applied Industrial Organization, EEA-ESEM Congress 2022, Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE 2022), Annual conference of the European Trade Study Group (ETSG 2022), UZH workshop on Imperfect Competition in Macroeconomics.

Declining Business Dynamism in Europe: The Role of Shocks, Market Power, and Technology with S. Inferrera (Queen Mary), M. Mertens and J. Miranda (IWH Halle, CompNet) [Latest version here]

We study the changing patterns of business dynamism in Europe after 2000 using novel micro-aggregated data that we collect for 19 European countries. In all of them, we document a decline in job reallocation rates that concerns most economic sectors. This is mainly driven by dynamics within sectors, size classes, and age classes rather than by compositional changes. Large and mature firms show the strongest decline in job reallocation rates. Simultaneously, the shares of employment and sales of young firms decline. Consistent with US evidence, firms’ employment changes have become less responsive to productivity. However, the dispersion of firms’ productivity shocks has decreased too. To enhance our understanding of these patterns, we derive a firm-level framework that relates changes in firms’ productivity, market power, and technology to job reallocation and firms’ responsiveness.

Keywords: Business Dynamism, Productivity, Responsiveness of labor demand, Market power, European cross-country data.

Presented at: CEBRA Annual Meeting, CompNet-EIB-ENRI conference, 2022 EARIE conference in Wien, EEA-ESEM conference in Milan, European Commission, 24th International Network for Economic Research (INFER) Annual conference, Harvard University, IWH, 2022 Summer Meeting of Young Economists, University of Leipzig, Tilburg University, University of Trento, and the World KLEMS conference.

Resource allocation with markups and policy distortions: is the covariance always informative?

The covariance between firm productivity and size is commonly used to analyze how the allocation of resources evolves within an industry in the aftermath of a policy change. Following Olley and Pakes (1996), increases in this measure have been interpreted as a sign of improved allocative efficiency. In this paper, I verify the validity of this interpretation in a model of monopolistic competition with horizontal product differentiation, free-entry, and variable markups. In such a context, I find that the effects of various welfare-enhancing interventions do not always map into a higher covariance term. Moreover, by comparing the welfare gap between the market equilibria and the social optimum before and after these policy changes, I show that the covariance may not be an informative measure of allocative efficiency.

Keywords: allocative efficiency; firm productivity; market power; resource misallocation.

Presented at: RES 2021 Annual Conference, III International Workshop on Market Studies and Spatial Economics, Spring Meeting of Young Economists 2021, Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics (EARIE 2021), European Summer Meetings of the Econometric Society (ESEM 2021), Research in International Economics and Finance (RIEF) 2021 conference, Annual conference of the European Trade Study Group (ETSG 2021), 2021 Annual CompNet Conference at the Banque de France, 2021 Comparative Analysis of Enterprise Data (CAED) Conference.


Pass-Through in Networks: the case of Air Passenger Taxes with W. H. Burton (KUL)


I had the opportunity to discuss the following papers: