Working Papers

Does Firm Exit Increase Prices? [Paper] [Slides]

This paper examines how changes in product market concentration, specifically firm exit, affect prices. I develop a model where firms have variable markups to show that the remaining firms increase their markups and prices after their competitors' exit. The model predictions are tested using micro-data on Swedish firms. I use the exposure of firms to a bank, which was severely affected by the financial crisis abroad, as an instrument to identify the causal relationship between firm exit and prices. I find that the remaining firms increase their prices by 0.3 percent when firms with a combined market share of one percent exit.

Is the Working Capital Channel Important? [Paper] [Slides]

The New Keynesian model augmented with the working capital channel predicts that (i) a rise in the policy rate increases producer prices, with a stronger impact on firms that use more working capital, (ii) the pass-through of policy rate changes to prices is gradual because of price rigidity and (iii) unanticipated policy rate changes have larger effects than anticipated changes. Using firm-level micro data, I test these predictions. I show that a firm with average working capital holdings increases its price by 0.1 percent after 3 months and by 0.2 percent after 6 months following a percentage unit increase in the policy rate.

Markups as a Hedge for Input Price Uncertainty: Evidence from Sweden [paper upon request]

with Sneha Agrawal and Abhishek Gaurav

In this paper, we study a new channel to explain firms' price setting behavior. We propose that uncertainty about factor prices has a positive effect on markups. We show theoretically that firms with higher shares of inputs with volatile prices set higher markups. We use the Bartik shift-share approach to empirically test whether firms which use more oil relative to other inputs set higher markups when oil prices are more volatile. Our estimates imply that a one standard deviation increase in oil price volatility leads to a 0.38 percent increase in the markup of firms with average oil exposure.

Work in Progress