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The Scope and Organization of Production: Firm Dynamics Over the Learning Curve

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  • Matthew F. Mitchell

Abstract

I introduce a Bayesian-learning model of the firm to account for a variety of empirical facts about firms. The many tasks the firm can undertake (the scope of the firm) are informationally related, so that the firm can enjoy some economies of scope from information. The model predicts changes in firm size and its comovement with firm scope that are broadly consistent with the empirical evidence. It also provides an explanation for the limits to the scope of the firm: the firm may lack information, or it may be costly to communicate the information necessary to undertake many tasks.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by The RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 31 (2000)
Issue (Month): 1 (Spring)
Pages: 180-205

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Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:31:y:2000:i:spring:p:180-205

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Cited by:
  1. Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2004. "Export orientation, foreign affiliates, and the growth of Austrian manufacturing firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 411-423, July.
  2. Bernardo, Antonio & Chowdhry, Bhagwan, 1998. "Resources, real options, and corporate strategy," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2m96n2gw, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  3. Gianni Amisano & Maria Letizia Giorgetti, 2005. "Entry in Pharmaceutical submarkets: A Bayesian Panel Probit Approach," Working Papers ubs0511, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
  4. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Specific Capital and Technological Variety," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 129-152.
  5. Bernardo, Antonio E. & Chowdhry, Bhagwan, 2002. "Resources, real options, and corporate strategy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 211-234, February.
  6. Peter Thompson & Steven Klepper, 2003. "Submarkets and the Evolution of Market Structure," Working Papers 0303, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  7. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "The Anatomy of the Firm Size Distribution: The Evolution of its Variance and Skewness," WIFO Working Papers 295, WIFO.
  8. Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "Firm Growth Under Sample Selection: Conditional σ-Convergence in Firm Size?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(4), pages 303-328, December.
  9. Frantzeskakis, Kyriakos & Ueda, Masako, 2007. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Firm's Life Cycle and Mergers as Efficient Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6079, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Philip Auerswald, 2010. "Entry and Schumpeterian profits," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 553-582, August.

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