NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Wyatt Brooks

University of Notre Dame

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Notre Dame

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2019Exploitation of Labor? Classical Monopsony Power and Labor's Share
with Joseph P. Kaboski, Yao Amber Li, Wei Qian: w25660
How important is the exercise of classical monopsony power against labor for the level of wages and labor's share? We examine this in the context of China and India – two large, rapidly-growing developing economies. Using theory, we develop a novel screen to quantify how wages are affected by market power exerted in labor markets, either by a single firm or a group of cooperating firms. The theory guides the measurement of labor “markdowns”, i.e., the gap between wage and the value of the marginal product of labor, and the screen examines how they comove with local labor market share and the share of cooperating firms. Applying this test, we find that markdowns substantially lower the labor share: by up to 10 percentage points in China and 15 percentage points in India. This impact has fal...
December 2016Growth Policy, Agglomeration, and (the Lack of) Competition
with Joseph P. Kaboski, Yao Amber Li: w22947
Industrial clusters are promoted by policy and generally viewed as good for growth and development, but both clusters and policies may also enable non-competitive behavior. This paper studies the presence of non-competitive pricing in geographic industrial clusters. We develop, validate, and apply a novel test for collusive behavior. We derive the test from the solution to a partial cartel of perfectly colluding firms in an industry. Outside of a cartel, a firm's markup depends on its market share, but in the cartel, markups across firms converge and depend instead on the total market share of the cartel. Empirically, we validate the test using plants with common owners, and then test for collusion using data from Chinese manufacturing firms (1999-2009). We find strong evidence for non-com...
 
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