What is the Impact of Increased Business Competition?

Author/Editor:

Sónia Félix ; Chiara Maggi

Publication Date:

December 13, 2019

Electronic Access:

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Summary:

This paper studies the macroeconomic effect and underlying firm-level transmission channels of a reduction in business entry costs. We provide novel evidence on the response of firms' entry, exit, and employment decisions. To do so, we use as a natural experiment a reform in Portugal that reduced entry time and costs. Using the staggered implementation of the policy across the Portuguese municipalities, we find that the reform increased local entry and employment by, respectively, 25% and 4.8% per year in its first four years of implementation. Moreover, around 60% of the increase in employment came from incumbent firms expanding their size, with most of the rise occurring among the most productive firms. Standard models of firm dynamics, which assume a constant elasticity of substitution, are inconsistent with the expansionary and heterogeneous response across incumbent firms. We show that in a model with heterogeneous firms and variable markups the most productive firms face a lower demand elasticity and expand their employment in response to increased entry.

Series:

Working Paper No. 19/276

Subject:

English

Publication Date:

December 13, 2019

ISBN/ISSN:

9781513521510/1018-5941

Stock No:

WPIEA2019276

Format:

Paper

Pages:

57

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