Working paper series
Margin rate and the cycle: the role of trade openness.
Gilbert Cette, Rémy Lecat and Ahmed Ould Ahmed Jiddou
Using three datasets of French manufacturing firms, this paper studies the role of trade openness, in relation with the cycle, as a determinant of company margin rate. Margin rates increase as capacity utilization tightens (and vice versa), reflecting the procyclicality of margin rates. However, high import rates are limiting this procyclicality: when capacities are tight, domestic producers may not be able to serve demand, but foreign producers may substitute for them if they are already present on the market as reflected by the level of import rates.
Classification JEL : D24, D43, E32.
Keywords : margin rates, capacity utilization, cycle, trade openness.