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Back on the Rails: Competition and Productivity in State-Owned Industry

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Author Info

  • Sanghamitra Das
  • Kala Krishna
  • Sergey Lychagin
  • Rohini Somanathan

Abstract

We use a proprietary dataset on the floor-level operations at the largest rail mill in India to study the response of productivity to the threat of entry. Output per active shift increased by 28 percent over 3 years with minimal changes in physical capital and employment. By combining data on the timing of various training programs in the mill with shift-level variation in worker composition, we are able to attribute over half of the higher productivity to training specifically targeted toward improving rail output. Our work suggests high returns to knowledge-enhancing investment in emerging economies. (JEL D22, D24, J24, L23, L32, L61, O14)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.5.1.136
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 136-62

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:5:y:2013:i:1:p:136-62

Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.5.1.136
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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," Discussion Papers 07-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  2. Timothy Dunne & Shawn Klimek & James Schmitz, Jr., 2010. "Competition and Productivity: Evidence from the Post WWII U.S. Cement Industry," Working Papers 10-29, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Caves, Douglas W & Christensen, Laurits R, 1980. "The Relative Efficiency of Public and Private Firms in a Competitive Environment: The Case of Canadian Railroads," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 958-76, October.
  4. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
  5. Nickell, S.J., 1993. "Competition and Crporate Performance," Economics Series Working Papers 99155, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. James A. Schmitz Jr., 2005. "What Determines Productivity? Lessons from the Dramatic Recovery of the U.S. and Canadian Iron Ore Industries Following Their Early 1980s Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 582-625, June.
  7. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2006. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 5581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Why Do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 619-23, May.
  11. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to Cross-National Evidence," NBER Working Papers 7081, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Chad Syverson, 2010. "What Determines Productivity?," NBER Working Papers 15712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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