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Can Market Power Really be Estimated?

KENNETH D. BOYER
Review of Industrial Organization
Vol. 11, No. 1 (February 1996), pp. 115-124
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/41798625
Page Count: 10
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Can Market Power Really be Estimated?
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Abstract

In a previous paper in this Review, Hyde and Perloff ask the question, "Can Market Power be Estimated?" using the "structural model" or two proposed alternatives. They find that none of the three methods produce consistent, meaningful results in the food and beverage industries and that simulations suggest great sensitivity of results to model misspecification. This paper offers an explanation for these disappointing results. The difficulty is that the structural model (and its proposed alternatives) is based on an overly-ambitious estimating form that over-simplifies the diversity and true complexity of oligopoly pricing. By neglecting accounting data on costs and by arbitrarily relying on an assumption that outputs are set by subtracting a constant proportion of the difference between Price and Marginal Revenue, the "structural model" and proposed alternatives try to fit an elegant form to a messy world with predictably disappointing results.

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