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The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous

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  • Klette, Tor Jakob
  • Griliches, Zvi

Abstract

This paper explores the inconsistency of common scale estimators when output is proxied by deflated sales, based on a common output deflator across firms. The problems arise when firms operate in an imperfectly competitive environment and prices differ between firms. In particular, we show that the scale estimates will tend to be downward biased in the production function case, under a wide range of assumptions about the pattern of technology, demand and factor price shocks. The result also holds for scale estimates obtained from cost functions. The empirical part of the paper presents various estimates of scale economies for a sample of Norwegian manufacturing plants. The findings provide some support for the hypothesis that the firms face an imperfectly competitive environment. The estimates suggests that there are significant markups and scale economies to the variable factors of production in our sample. However, the estimates of markups and scale economies presented in this paper are substantially lower than the results obtained by Hall (1988, 1990) and others using industry level data.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 11 (1996)
Issue (Month): 4 (July-Aug.)
Pages: 343-61

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:11:y:1996:i:4:p:343-61

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  1. Paul Krugman, 1986. "Industrial Organization and International Trade," NBER Working Papers 1957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bartelsman, E.J. & Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "Short and Long Run Externalities," Papers 91-18, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  3. Caleb A. Smith, 1955. "Survey of the Empirical Evidence on Economies of Scale," NBER Chapters, in: Business Concentration and Price Policy, pages 213-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1987. "Are Cyclical Fluctuations in Productivity Due More to Supply Shocks or Demand Shocks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 118-24, May.
  5. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "The Relation Between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," NBER Working Papers 1785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Eden, B. & Griliches, Z., 1991. "Prodoctivity, Market Power and Capacity Utilization when Spot Market Are Complete," Working Papers 91-06, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  8. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1645-60, December.
  9. Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ringstad, Vidar, 1974. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Decreasing Scale Elasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 87-101, January.
  11. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "Some Evidence of Productivity Linkages in Manufacturing," Papers fb-27, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  14. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
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