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Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business: The Industrial Revolution in Services

Time: 2019-06-12 08:00 Print

Topic: The Industrial Revolution in Services

Speaker: Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Date: June 12, 2019 (Wednesday) 

Time: 10:00am-11:30am 

Location: 4-102, Building 4

Language: English 

Abstract: 

The rise in national industry concentration in the US between 1977 and 2013 is driven by a new industrial revolution in three broad non-traded sectors: services, retail, and wholesale. Sectors where national concentration is rising have increased their share of employment, and the expansion is entirely driven by the number of local markets served by firms. Firm employment per market has either increased slightly at the MSA level, or decreased substantially at the county or establishment levels. In industries with increasing concentration, the expansion into more markets is more pronounced for the top 10% firms, but is present for the bottom 90% as well. These trends have not been accompanied by economy-wide concentration. Top U.S. firms are increasingly specialized in sectors with rising industry concentration, but their aggregate employment share has remained roughly stable. We argue that these facts are consistent with the availability of a new set of fixed-cost technologies that enable adopters to produce at lower marginal costs in all markets. We present a simple model of firmsize and market entry to describe the menu of new technologies and trace its implications.

About the speaker: 

Chang-Tai Hsieh conducts research on growth and development. Hsieh has published several papers in top economic journals, including “The Life-Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico,” in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," in the Quarterly Journal of Economics; "Relative Prices and Relative Prosperity," in the American Economic Review; "Can Free Entry be Inefficient? Fixed Commissions and Social Waste in the Real Estate Industry," in the Journal of Political Economy; and "What Explains the Industrial Revolution in East Asia? Evidence from the Factor Markets," in the American Economic Review.

Hsieh has been a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, New York, and Minneapolis, as well as the World Bank's Development Economics Group and the Economic Planning Agency in Japan. He is a Research Associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research, a Senior Fellow at the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development, and a member of the Steering Group of the International Growth Center in London. 

He is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, an Elected Member of Academia Sinica, and the recipient of the Sun Ye-Fang award for research on the Chinese economy.