Markups and Business Dynamism Across Industries


Evidence of rising market power in the U.S. economy has received widespread attention in macroeconomics literature. Recent research has linked trends in measured market power to other secular trends in the U.S., including multi-decade trends of declining rates of job reallocation and business entry (or “business dynamism”). Intuitively, firms with more market power are less responsive to shocks, and industries characterized by market power may have (or create) significant barriers to entry. Both forces predict a negative correlation between market power and business dynamism. However, industry-level data shows zero, or often a positive, correlation between markups and business dynamism; industries that experienced larger increases in markups had smaller decreases in dynamism on average. Those few industries that saw both large declines in markups and large declines in dynamism do not account for a significant share of the aggregate trends in markups and dynamism. Our results suggest that market power does not explain the decline in dynamism.