NYU Stern School of Business
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NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2018||How EU Markets Became More Competitive Than US Markets: A Study of Institutional Drift|
with Thomas Philippon: w24700
Until the 1990's, US markets were more competitive than European markets. Today, European markets have lower concentration, lower excess profits, and lower regulatory barriers to entry. We document this surprising outcome and propose an explanation using a model of political support. Politicians care about consumer welfare but also enjoy retaining control over industrial policy. We show that politicians from different countries who set up a common regulator will make it more independent and more pro-competition than the national ones it replaces. Our comparative analysis of antitrust policy reveals strong support for this and other predictions of the model. European institutions are more independent than their American counterparts, and they enforce pro-competition policies more strongly t...
|July 2017||Declining Competition and Investment in the U.S.|
with Thomas Philippon: w23583
The U.S. business sector has under-invested relative to Tobin's Q since the early 2000's. We argue that declining competition is partly responsible for this phenomenon. We use a combination of natural experiments and instrumental variables to establish a causal relationship between competition and investment. Within manufacturing, we show that industry leaders invest and innovate more in response to exogenous changes in Chinese competition. Beyond manufacturing we show that excess entry in the late 1990's, which is orthogonal to demand shocks in the 2000's, predicts higher industry investment given Q. Finally, we provide some evidence that the increase in concentration can be explained by increasing regulations.
|December 2016||Investment-less Growth: An Empirical Investigation|
with Thomas Philippon: w22897
We analyze private fixed investment in the U.S. over the past 30 years. We show that investment is weak relative to measures of profitability and valuation – particularly Tobin’s Q, and that this weakness starts in the early 2000’s. There are two broad categories of explanations: theories that predict low investment because of low Q, and theories that predict low investment despite high Q. We argue that the data does not support the first category, and we focus on the second one. We use industry-level and firm-level data to test whether under-investment relative to Q is driven by (i) financial frictions, (ii) measurement error (due to the rise of intangibles, globalization, etc), (iii) decreased competition (due to technology, regulation or common ownership), or (iv) tightened governance a...
Published: Germán Gutiérrez & Thomas Philippon, 2017. "Investmentless Growth: An Empirical Investigation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(2 (Fall)), pages 89-190. citation courtesy of