Import competition and market power: Canadian evidence


Aileen J. Thompson


Statistics Canada




This paper estimates price-marginal cost mark-ups for Canadian manufacturing industries in order to assess the impact of import competition on domestic market power. The results are mixed. Although the overall relationship between mark-ups and imports is positive across industries for the early 1970s and insignificant for the late 1970s, there is some weak cross-sectional evidence to suggest that imports reduce market power in domestically concentrated industries. Changes in imports between the two periods, however, have a positive impact on mark-ups in concentrated industries. Thus, there is no consistent evidence for Canada that imports have had the beneficial impact on competition that has been emphasized in much of the literature. In contrast, an interesting result of the paper is that increases in exports are associated with reductions in mark-ups, suggesting that exports may have a stronger pro-competitive impact on domestic firms than imports.

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