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SUCCESSFUL IN THE LONG RUN: A META†REGRESSION ANALYSIS OF PERSISTENT FIRM PROFITS

Stefan Hirsch

Journal of Economic Surveys, 2018, vol. 32, issue 1, 23-49

Abstract: We study the profit persistence literature by applying meta†regression analysis (MRA) to a set of 36 empirical papers, which analyze the persistence of abnormal firm profits over time. The analyzed literature provides evidence for a mediocre degree of persistence in abnormal profits. An initial analysis of the distribution of reported profit persistence estimates reveals some degree of excess variation. This points toward publication bias that favors significant results independent of their algebraic sign. The MRA, however, reveals that publication bias is particularly favoring results that indicate profit persistence and thus contradict the neoclassical model of perfect competition. Moreover, the MRA enables to control for heterogeneity driven by the study design. We find that the analyzed country (developing vs. developed), the applied econometric approach, as well as the analyzed period of time are significant drivers of heterogeneity in reported persistence estimates.

Date: 2018
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