NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Estimating market power Evidence from the US Brewing Industry

Jan De Loecker, Paul T. Scott

NBER Working Paper No. 22957
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):Industrial Organization, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

While inferring markups from demand data is common practice, estimation relies on difficult-to-test assumptions, including a specific model of how firms compete. Alternatively, markups can be inferred from production data, again relying on a set of difficult-to-test assumptions, but a wholly different set, including the assumption that firms minimize costs using a variable input. Relying on data from the US brewing industry, we directly compare markup estimates from the two approaches. After implementing each approach for a broad set of assumptions and specifications, we find that both approaches provide similar and plausible markup estimates in most cases. The results illustrate how using the two strategies together can allow researchers to evaluate structural models and identify problematic assumptions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22957

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