Market Power and the Cross-Industry Behavior of Prices Around a Business Cycle Trough
Our paper examines the behavior of prices in a large number of highly-disaggregated industries around the trough of the business cycle. We conclude that the degree to which prices are pro- or counter- cyclical differs between business cycle peaks and business cycle troughs, and that the cyclical behavior of prices varies substantially across industries. We also observe a tendency for industry prices to rise immediately following a business cycle trough. In general, we accept a market power explanation for that observation: either oligopolists pricing above marginal cost take advantage of a cyclical tendency for demand functions to grow more inelastic in the early stages of a boom or else interfirm coordination becomes more effective after a trough. From the behavior of prices as a recession ends and a boom begins, our paper also identifies a set of industries likely on average to be exercising market power.
- Paperback | 54 pages
- 215.9 x 279.4 x 3.05mm | 190.51g
- 01 Jun 2015
- United States
- black & white illustrations