Discussion Paper Details

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Title: U.S. Market Concentration and Import Competition

Author(s): Mary Amiti and Sebastian Heise

Publication Date: May 2021


Programme Area(s): International Trade and Regional Economics

Abstract: A rapidly growing literature has shown that market concentration among domestic firms has increased in the U.S. over the last three decades. Using confidential census data for the manufacturing sector, we show that typical measures of concentration, once adjusted for sales by foreign exporters, actually stayed constant between 1992 and 2012. We reconcile these findings by linking part of the increase in domestic concentration to import competition. Although concentration among U.S.-based firms rose, the growth of foreign firms, mostly at the bottom of the sales distribution, counteracted this increase. We find that higher import competition caused a decline in the market shares of the top-20 U.S. firms.

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Bibliographic Reference

Amiti, M and Heise, S. 2021. 'U.S. Market Concentration and Import Competition'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.