International competition and national concentration

国际竞争和国家集中

2019/05/08 00:00
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最近的研究记录了工业集中度的提高,引发了人们对垄断时代,利润份额增加和经济活力低下的担忧。本专栏使用美国数据,按原产国调查进口销售的浓度。

Recent studies documenting the increase of industrial concentration have raised concerns about an era of monopolies, growing profit shares, and low economic dynamism. Using US data, this column investigates the concentration of import sales by country of origin. The results show that among foreign firms selling to the US, the concentration of sales has remained stable by origin country, but it has fallen when pooling firms from all origins. This suggests that intensified competition in international markets coexists with growing concentration among national producers.

最近的研究记录了工业集中度的提高,引发了人们对垄断时代,利润份额增加和经济活力低下的担忧。本专栏使用美国数据,按原产国调查进口销售的浓度。结果显示,在向美国出售的外国公司中,销售集中度由原产国保持稳定,但是当汇集来自所有来源的公司时,销售集中度下降。这表明国际市场的激烈竞争与国家生产者日益集中的共存。

We live in a superstar economy in which top firms command a disproportionate share of sales and wealth. According to The Economist (17 September 2016), 10% of the world's public companies generate 80% of all profits, and the share of GDP generated by the Fortune 100 biggest US companies rose from about 33% of GDP in 1994 to 46% in 2013. A large number of papers have documented that, since the late 1990s, the fraction of sales accrued by top firms and other concentration indexes have risen in most US sectors (e.g., see Autor et al. 2017, Rossi-Hansberg et al. 2018). International evidence, albeit more sparse, indicates that concentration has grown in several OECD countries too. Large firms also dominate exports. In a sample of 32 mostly developing countries, the top five firms account on average for 30% of a county's total exports (Freund and Pierola 2015). These observations have raised serious concerns that the growth of superstar firms may be synonymous with lower competition (Eeckhout and De Loecker 2017). The size of the phenomenon is so large that it has attracted the attention of media and policymakers.

我们生活在一个超级明星经济体中,顶级公司在销售额和财富中占据不成比例的份额。据“经济学人”杂志报道(2016年9月17日),世界上10%的上市公司产生了80%的利润,而财富100强美国公司所占GDP的比例从1994年的约33%上升到46%。 2013年。大量论文证明,自20世纪90年代末以来,大多数美国部门的顶级公司和其他集中度指数所产生的销售额增加了(例如,参见Autor等人2017年,Rossi-Hansberg等人。 2018)。国际证据虽然比较稀少,但也表明几个经合组织国家的集中度也在增加。大公司也主导出口。在32个主要发展中国家的样本中,前五大公司平均占该县总出口的30%(Freund和Pierola 2015)。这些观察引起了人们的严重担忧,即超级巨星公司的增长可能与较低的竞争同义(Eeckhout和De Loecker 2017)。这种现象的规模如此之大,以至于引起了媒体和决策者的注意。

The existing evidence points at growing concentration among national firms. However, companies from different countries compete in markets that are increasingly global. Surprisingly, concentration in international markets has received nearly no attention (the only attempt being Freund and Sidhu 2017). In a recent paper (Bonfiglioli et al. 2019), we use a unique transaction-level data set to study changes in the concentration of US imports between 2002 and 2012. Focusing on imports allows us to complement the picture arising from national production data, by enabling us to document how firms from multiple countries compete in the world's largest global market.

现有证据表明,国家公司日益集中。但是,来自不同国家的公司在日益全球化的市场中竞争。令人惊讶的是,国际市场的集中几乎没有受到关注(唯一的尝试是Freund和Sidhu 2017)。在最近的一篇论文(Bonfiglioli等,2019)中,我们使用一个独特的交易级数据集来研究2002年至2012年间美国进口集中度的变化。关注进口使我们能够补充国家生产数据所产生的图景,通过使我们能够记录来自多个国家的公司如何在世界上最大的全球市场中竞争。

National versus international trends in concentration

国家与国际集中趋势

Our analysis draws on the universe of waterborne imports to the US in the years 2002 and 2012 from the Piers database (IHS Markit), which contains information including the full name of the exporting firm, its country of origin, the exported product (according to the 6-digit level of the HS classification), and the value and quantity of each transaction. The final sample used in the analysis comprises 1,311,835 observations at the firm-product-year level, covering 366 manufacturing industries and 104 origin countries.

我们的分析借鉴了2002年和2012年从Piers数据库(IHS Markit)到美国的水性进口,其中包含出口公司的全名,原产国,出口产品(根据HS分类的6位数级别,以及每笔交易的价值和数量。分析中使用的最终样本包括公司产品年度的1,311,835次观察,涵盖366个制造业和104个原产国。

We measure industry concentration using both the share of total sales that is accrued by the four largest firms in an industry and the industry's Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. We compute these measures both by industry – that is, pooling firms' sales from all origin countries – and by industry and country of origin. For comparison, we also compute the corresponding concentration measures among US firms from COMPUSTAT. Table 1 shows that, in the average industry, the top-four firms account for 79% of all imports by the average country (Panel A) and 37% of imports from all countries (Panel B). Interestingly, concentration among US firms is comparable to the level observed by country (Panel C). The table also reports changes in the concentration indexes between 2002 and 2012. Over the decade, concentration among firms from the same country barely changed. However, concentration among firms from all countries decreased significantly – the share of sales by the top-four firms fell by 8 percentage points. Conversely, as is well known, the top-four share among US firms increased by 5 percentage points.

我们使用行业中四家最大公司和行业的Herfindahl-Hirschman指数累计的总销售额来衡量行业集中度。我们按行业计算这些衡量标准 - 即汇集所有来源国家的公司销售额 - 以及行业和原产国。为了比较,我们还计算了美国公司COMPUSTAT的相应集中度量。表1显示,在一般工业中,前四大公司占平均国家进口总量的79%(A组),占所有国家进口量的37%(B组)。有趣的是,美国公司的集中度与国家观察到的水平相当(C组)。该表还报告了2002年至2012年间集中度指数的变化。在过去十年中,来自同一国家的公司集中度几乎没有变化。然而,来自所有国家的公司集中度显着下降 - 前四大公司的销售份额下降了8个百分点。相反,众所周知,美国公司的前四大份额增加了5个百分点。

Table 1 Descriptive statistics on concentration measures

表1浓度测量的描述性统计

Figure 1 shows some interesting geographical patterns in the levels and changes in concentration across countries. From the top map of Figure 1, in 2012, concentration appears to be lower than average in Western Europe, India, China, and some parts of Southeast Asia. It is higher in parts of Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia. The bottom map  shows that, between 2002 and 2012, concentration grew in Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Russia, and has fallen in China and India.

图1显示了各个国家的水平和浓度变化的一些有趣的地理模式。从图1的顶部地图来看,2012年,西欧,印度,中国和东南亚部分地区的集中度似乎低于平均水平。它在东欧,中东和俄罗斯的部分地区较高。底部地图显示,在2002年至2012年期间,拉丁美洲,东欧和俄罗斯的集中度有所增加,而中国和印度则有所下降。

Figure 1 Levels and changes in the Herfindahl Index of concentration across countries

图1 Herfindahl各国浓度指数的水平和变化


Decomposing trends in concentration

分解集中趋势

Having documented the main trends in the data, we derive a simple decomposition that allows us to quantify the contribution of various firm-level characteristics to the observed changes in concentration, as measured by top firms' shares. Building on Bonfiglioli et al. (2018b) and Redding and Weinstein (2018b), the characteristics that we can identify are:

在记录了数据的主要趋势之后,我们得出了一个简单的分解,它允许我们量化各种公司层面特征对观察到的集中度变化的贡献,这是由顶级公司的股票衡量的。建立在Bonfiglioli等人的基础上。 (2018b)和Redding和Weinstein(2018b),我们可以识别的特征是:

  • the number of firms; 
  • 公司数量;
  • the number of products per firm;
  • 每家公司的产品数量;
  • average sales per product; and, 
  • 每件产品的平均销售额和,
  • heterogeneity across firm-products. 
  • 公司产品的异质性。

We perform our decompositions both at the industry and at the industry-origin country level.

我们在行业和行业起源的国家层面进行分解。

Focusing on the change in the share of sales by the top-four firms, we find that by far the most important factor in explaining the fall in concentration in the US import market is the extensive margin. First, there is a large increase in the number of firms that start exporting to the US, by 27% on average at the country-industry level and by 75% when pooling firms from all origin countries. Second, the extensive margin plays an important role also within firms. While all firms are shedding products, top firms are dropping proportionally more products than other firms, with a difference of 15% versus 7% at the country-industry level and of 43% versus 10% at the industry level.

关注前四大公司销售份额的变化,我们发现到目前为止,解释美国进口市场集中度下降的最重要因素是广泛的利润率。首先,开始向美国出口的公司数量大幅增加,在国家 - 工业水平上平均增加27%,在汇集来自所有原产国的公司时增加75%。其次,广泛的利润率在企业内部也起着重要作用。虽然所有公司都在减产,但顶级公司的产品比其他公司的产品比例下降了15%,而国家 - 工业水平的这一比例分别为7%和43%,而行业水平为10%。

Other things being equal, the increase in the number of firms and the decrease in the relative number of products by the top firms would have commanded a pervasive fall in industry concentration. Yet the intensive margin has worked in the opposite direction. The average sales per product of the top firms has grown significantly relative to the other firms, by 31% at the country-industry level and by 78% at the industry level, thereby pushing towards rising concentration. Interestingly, all effects are stronger when focusing on concentration from all origin countries – entry is stronger, but so is divergence of top firm-products. However, when considering firms from a single origin country, the opposite effects of the intensive and extensive margins almost exactly cancel out.

在其他条件相同的情况下,企业数量的增加和顶级企业相对产品数量的减少将导致行业集中度普遍下降。然而,密集的利润率则相反。与其他公司相比,顶级公司的每种产品的平均销售额显着增长,在国家 - 工业水平上增长了31%,在行业水平上增长了78%,从而推动了集中度的提高。有趣的是,当关注来自所有来源国家的集中时,所有影响都更强 - 进入更强,但顶级公司产品的分歧也更强。然而,当考虑来自单一来源国的公司时,密集和广泛利润的相反影响几乎完全抵消了。

As a further step, we decompose the change in the intensive margin – that is, average sales per product of the top firms – to quantify the contribution of the average relative appeal of top firms’ products and of the dispersion in appeal across top firms. Although changes in the average appeal of top firm-products account for more than three quarters of the change in the intensive margin, a sizeable fraction is accounted for by differential growth within top-firm products. These findings imply that firms do not grow uniformly and that the growth of top products contributed significantly to raising industry concentration.

作为进一步的步骤,我们分解密集边际的变化 - 即顶级公司的每个产品的平均销售额 - 来量化顶级公司产品的平均相对吸引力的贡献以及顶级公司的吸引力的分散。虽然顶级公司产品的平均吸引力的变化占密集保证金变化的四分之三以上,但是相当大的比例是由顶级公司产品的差异增长所导致的。这些调查结果意味着企业不能统一增长,顶级产品的增长对提高行业集中度有显着贡献。

Conclusions

结论

Much ink has been spilled on the recent increase in industrial concentration, raising concerns that the advent of giant companies may usher in an era of monopolies. However, all existing evidence has been based on national data. Our findings challenge the view that markets are becoming less competitive. Concentration of US imports by country of origin has remained stable while it has fallen significantly when pooling firms from all origins. The sheer increase in the number of firm-products exported to the US suggests that the overall level of competition may have intensified rather than fallen, even if the number of US entering firms has declined.

近期工业集中度的提高已经大量涌入,引发了对巨型公司的出现可能迎来垄断时代的担忧。但是,所有现有证据都是基于国家数据。我们的研究结果挑战了市场竞争力下降的观点。美国原产国的进口集中度保持稳定,而汇集来自各个国家的公司则大幅下降。出口到美国的公司产品数量的绝对增长表明,即使美国进入公司的数量下降,整体竞争水平可能会加剧而不是下降。

These results suggest a more benign view, according to which national concentration and international competition coexist and may be two sides of the same coin – growing global competition may force unproductive firms to exit and top-firms to consolidate on their best products (Mayer et al. 2014). However, they also show that firms are growing more and more unequal, a finding confirmed in various studies (Bonfiglioli et al. 2018a, 2019, Dunne et al. 2004, Faggio et al. 2010). Better understanding the causes and consequences of this process is therefore an important avenue for future research.

这些结果表明了一种更为良性的观点,根据这种观点,国家集中和国际竞争并存并可能是同一个硬币的两面 - 不断增长的全球竞争可能迫使非生产性企业退出,顶级企业要巩固其最佳产品(Mayer et al .2014)。然而,他们还表明公司正在变得越来越不平等,这一发现在各种研究中得到证实(Bonfiglioli等,2018a,2019,Dunne等,2004,Faggio等,2010)。因此,更好地了解这一过程的原因和后果是未来研究的重要途径。

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