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Author:Abbring, Jaap H. 

Working Paper
A structural empirical model of firm growth, learning, and survival

In this paper we develop an empirical model of entrepreneurs' business continuation decisions, and we estimate its parameters using a new panel of monthly alcohol tax returns from bars in the state of Texas. In our data, entrepreneurial failure is frequent and predictable. In the first year of life, 20% of our sample's bars exit, and these tend to be smaller than average. In the model, an entrepreneur bases her business continuation decision on potentially noisy signals of her bar's future profits. The presence of noise implies that she should make her decision based on both current and past ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-03-11

Working Paper
Very Simple Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: Empirics

This paper develops an econometric model of firm entry, competition, and exit in oligopolistic markets. The model has an essentially unique symmetric Markov-perfect equilibrium, which can be computed very quickly. We show that its primitives are identified from market-level data on the number of active firms and demand shifters, and we implement a nested fixed point procedure for its estimation. Estimates from County Business Patterns data on U.S. local cinema markets point to tough local competition. Sunk costs make the industry's transition following a permanent demand shock last 10 to 15 ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2018-17

Working Paper
Last-in first-out oligopoly dynamics

This paper extends the static analysis of oligopoly structure into an infinite- horizon setting with sunk costs and demand uncertainty. The observation that exit rates decline with firm age motivates the assumption of last-in first- out dynamics: An entrant expects to produce no longer than any incumbent. This selects an essentially unique Markov-perfect equilibrium. With mild restrictions on the demand shocks, a sequence of thresholds describes firms? equilibrium entry and survival decisions. Bresnahan and Reiss?s (1993) empirical analysis of oligopolists? entry and exit assumes that such ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-28

Working Paper
Very Simple Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics

This paper develops an econometric model of industry dynamics for concentrated markets that can be estimated very quickly from market-level panel data on the number of producers and consumers using a nested fixed-point algorithm. We show that the model has an essentially unique symmetric Markov-perfect equilibrium that can be calculated from the fixed points of a finite sequence of low-dimensional contraction mappings. Our nested fixed point procedure extends Rust's (1987) to account for the observable implications of mixed strategies on survival. We illustrate the model's empirical ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2013-20

Working Paper
Oligopoly dynamics with barriers to entry

This paper considers the effects of raising the cost of entry for potential competitors on infinite-horizon Markov- perfect industry dynamics with ongoing demand uncertainty. All entrants serving the model industry incur sunk costs, and exit avoids future fixed costs. We focus on the unique equilibrium with last- in first-out expectations: a firm never exits before a younger rival does. When an industry can support at most two firms, we prove that raising barriers to a second producer?s entry increases the probability that some firm will serve the industry and decreases its long-run entry and ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-06-29

Journal Article
Creative destruction in local markets

This article uses a panel of Texas restaurants' and bars' alcohol to measure the pace of creative destruction--the ongoing replacement of unproductive competitors with the new firms--and it investigates whether producers in more concentrated markets might use their market power to stabilize the industry structure. The authors find the opposite to be true: Local markets with more concentrated alcohol sales display more creative destruction.
Economic Perspectives , Volume 28 , Issue Q II , Pages 50-60

Working Paper
Simple Markov-perfect industry dynamics

This paper develops a tractable model for the computational and empirical analysis of infinite-horizon oligopoly dynamics. It features aggregate demand uncertainty, sunk entry costs, stochastic idiosyncratic technological progress, and irreversible exit. We develop an algorithm for computing a symmetric Markov-perfect equilibrium quickly by finding the fixed points to a finite sequence of low-dimensional contraction mappings. If at most two heterogenous firms serve the industry, the result is the unique "natural" equilibrium in which a high profitability firm never exits leaving behind a ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2010-21

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