Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Market Concentration and the Productivity Slowdown

Olmstead-Rumsey, Jane (2019): Market Concentration and the Productivity Slowdown.

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Abstract

Since around 2000, U.S. aggregate productivity growth has slowed and product market (sales) concentration has risen. At the same time, productivity differences among firms in the same sector appear to have risen dramatically. In this paper I propose a rich model of competition and innovation to explain the coincidence of these three observations. In the model a key parameter governing all three phenomena is the probability that innovating firms make radical innovations. Thus one explanation for rising concentration, slower productivity growth, and wider technology differences among firms is that the incidence of radical innovations has slowed relative to the 1990s, when the internet and other information technology radically transformed production and sales technology in many sectors.

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