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Asset Bubbles and Product Market Competition

Francisco Queiros
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Francisco Queiros: Universitat Pompeu Fabra

No 462, 2018 Meeting Papers from Society for Economic Dynamics

Abstract: This paper studies the effects of rational bubbles in an economy characterized by imperfect competition in product markets. It provides two main insights. The first is that imperfect competition relaxes the conditions for the existence of rational bubbles. When they have market power, firms restrict output and investment to enjoy supernormal profits. This depresses the interest rate, making rational bubbles possible even when capital accumulation is dynamically efficient. The second is that by providing a production or entry subsidy, asset bubbles may have a pro-competitive effect and force firms to expand and cut profit margins. However, once they get too large they can lead to overinvestment and sustain corporate losses. I use anecdotal evidence from the British railway mania of the 1840s and the dotcom bubble of the late 1990s to support the model's hypotheses and predictions.

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Date: 2018
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