Competition in the Portuguese economy: insights from a profit elasticity approach

João Amador, Ana Cristina Soares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The article uses the elasticity of profits to marginal costs, as in Boone (Econ J 111:1245–1261, 2008b), to measure the degree of competition in the Portuguese economy in a period characterised by the reallocation of resources towards the non-tradable sector and the accumulation of macroeconomic imbalances. Using firm-level data for the period 2000–2009, we find that there is lower competition intensity in the non-tradable sector. The least competitive markets within this sector lay in professional services, network industries and segments of retail trade. We also find that reductions in competition intensity are relatively widespread in the economy, but in terms of sales, gross value added and employment they are more substantial in the non-tradable sector. Results suggest that some network industries and other services exhibit low and a declining competition intensity in the period under analysis. In addition, the article discusses the coherence of the profit elasticity with classic indicators of market power, such as the Herfindahl–Hirschman index and the price-cost margin, and find that in more than half of the markets there is an agreement in the dynamics of competition intensity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-365
Number of pages27
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


  • Market competition
  • Portuguese economy
  • Profit elasticity


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