The Price Effects of Market Power
This project takes a macroeconomic approach to market power. The authors will use U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics microdata on monthly prices to study how market power affects prices for the whole U.S. economy, not just one sector. Past work has looked at mark-ups and concentration as a proxy for price, but in principle, this could help address the fundamental question of whether market power or efficiency is driving increased mark-ups. This project would provide new evidence on the linkage between market concentration and margins across industries and within industries. It would also provide evidence on how import cost shocks lead to the pass-through of those shocks to the prices paid by final consumers. The authors plan to infer market power from the degree of pass-through. A main innovation in this study is the use of novel data, which record price for different sectors.