NBER

Steve Bond

Nuffield College
New Road,
Oxford
OX1 1NF
United Kingdom

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Oxford

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020Some Unpleasant Markup Arithmetic: Production Function Elasticities and their Estimation from Production Data
with Arshia Hashemi, Greg Kaplan, Piotr Zoch: w27002
The ratio estimator of a firm's markup is the ratio of the output elasticity of a variable input to that input's cost share in revenue. This note raises issues that concern identification and estimation of markups using the ratio estimator. Concerning identification: (i) if the revenue elasticity is used in place of the output elasticity, then the estimand underlying the ratio estimator does not contain any information about the markup; (ii) if any part of the input bundle is either used to influence demand, or is neither fully fixed nor fully flexible, then the estimand underlying the ratio estimator is not equal to the markup. Concerning estimation: (i) even with data on output quantities, it is challenging to obtain consistent estimates of output elasticities when firms have market powe...

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