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Jel Classification:L13 

Working Paper
Customer Capital, Markup Cyclicality, and Amplification

This paper studies the importance of firm-level price markup dynamics for business cycle fluctuations. Using state-of-the-art IO techniques to measure the behavior of markups over the business cycle at the firm level, I find that markups are countercyclical with an average elasticity of -1.1 with respect to real GDP. Importantly, I find substantial heterogeneity in markup cyclicality across firms, with small firms having significantly more counter-cyclical markups than large firms. Then, I develop a general equilibrium model by embedding customer capital (due to deep habits as in Ravn, ...
Working Papers , Paper 2017-33

Working Paper
New Estimates of the Lerner Index of Market Power for U.S. Banks

The Lerner index is widely used to assess firms' market power. However, estimation and interpretation present several challenges, especially for banks, which tend to produce multiple outputs and operate with considerable inefficiency. We estimate Lerner indices for U.S. banks for 2001-18 using nonparametric estimators of the underlying cost and profit functions, controlling for inefficiency, and incorporating banks' off-balance-sheet activities. We find that mis-specification of cost or profit functional forms can seriously bias Lerner index estimates, as can failure to account for ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-012

Working Paper
Nonparametric Estimation of Lerner Indices for U.S. Banks Allowing for Inefficiency and Off-Balance Sheet Activities

The Lerner index is widely used to assess firms' market power. However, estimation and interpretation present several challenges, especially for banks, which tend to produce multiple outputs and operate with considerable inefficiency. We estimate Lerner indices for U.S. banks for 2001-18 using nonparametric estimators of the underlying cost and profit functions, controlling for inefficiency, and incorporating banks' off-balance-sheet activities. We find that mis-specification of cost or profit functional forms can seriously bias Lerner index estimates, as can failure to account for ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-12

Working Paper
Screening and Adverse Selection in Frictional Markets

We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into a standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We characterize the unique equilibrium, and use our characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. We show that the relationship between an agent?s type, the quantity he trades, and the price he pays is jointly determined by the severity of adverse selection and the concentration of market power. Therefore, quantifying the effects of adverse selection requires controlling for market ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-35

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
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
Entry, exit, and the determinants of market structure

This paper estimates a dynamic, structural model of entry and exit in an oligopolistic industry and uses it to quantify the determinants of market structure and long-run firm values for two U.S. service industries, dentists and chiropractors. Entry costs faced by potential entrants, fixed costs faced by incumbent producers, and the toughness of short-run price competition are all found to be important determinants of long-run firm values, firm turnover, and market structure. Estimates for the dentist industry allow the entry cost to differ for geographic markets that were designated as Health ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2013-10

Report
Market Structure and Monetary Non-neutrality

I propose an equilibrium menu cost model with a continuum of sectors, each consisting of strategically engaged firms. Compared to a model with monopolistically competitive sectors that is calibrated to the same data on good-level price flexibility, the dynamic duopoly model features a smaller inflation response to monetary shocks and output responses that are more than twice as large. The model also implies (i) four times larger welfare losses from nominal rigidities, (ii) smaller menu costs and idiosyncratic shocks are needed to match the data, (iii) a U-shaped relationship between market ...
Staff Report , Paper 558

Report
Rising Bank Concentration

Concentration of insured deposit funding among the top four commercial banks in the U.S. has risen from 15% in 1984 to 44% in 2018, a roughly three-fold increase. Regulation has often been attributed as a factor in that increase. The Riegle-Neal Interstate Banking and Branching Efficiency Act of 1994 removed many of the restrictions on opening bank branches across state lines. We interpret the Riegle-Neal act as lowering the cost of expanding a bank's funding base. In this paper, we build an industry equilibrium model in which banks endogenously climb a funding base ladder. Rising ...
Staff Report , Paper 594

Working Paper
Screening and adverse selection in frictional markets

We incorporate a search-theoretic model of imperfect competition into an otherwise standard model of asymmetric information with unrestricted contracts. We develop a methodology that allows for a sharp analytical characterization of the unique equilibrium and then use this characterization to explore the interaction between adverse selection, screening, and imperfect competition. On the positive side, we show how the structure of equilibrium contracts?and, hence, the relationship between an agent?s type, the quantity he trades, and the corresponding price?is jointly determined by the severity ...
Working Papers , Paper 16-10

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