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Reallocation and Technology: Evidence From The U.S. Steel Industry

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  • Allan Collard-Wexler
  • Jan De Loecker

Abstract

We measure the impact of a drastic new technology for producing steel -- the minimill -- on the aggregate productivity of U.S. steel producers, using unique plant-level data between 1963 and 2002. We find that the sharp increase in the industry's productivity is linked to this new technology, and operates through two distinct mechanisms. First, minimills displaced the older technology, called vertically integrated production, and this reallocation of output was responsible for a third of the increase in the industry's productivity. Second, increased competition, due to the expansion of minimills, drove a substantial reallocation process within the group of vertically integrated producers, driving a resurgence in their productivity, and consequently of the industry's productivity as a whole.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2013/CES-WP-13-06.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 13-06.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:13-06

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  11. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-71, October.
  12. Daniel Yi Xu, 2013. "Competition, Markups, and the Gains from International Trade," 2013 Meeting Papers 653, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Liebman, Benjamin H. & Pierce, Justin R. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2013. "Are all trade protection policies created equal? Empirical evidence for nonequivalent market power effects of tariffs and quotas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 369-378.
  15. Allan Collard-Wexler, 2011. "Productivity Dispersion and Plant Selection in the Ready-Mix Concrete Industry," Working Papers 11-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  16. Allan Collard-Wexler & John Asker & Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Productivity Volatility and the Misallocation of Resources in Developing Economies," Working Papers 11-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  17. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  20. Frank Giarratani & Gene Gruver & Randall Jackson, 2007. "Clusters, Agglomeration, and Economic Development Potential: Empirical Evidence Based on the Advent of Slab Casting by U.S. Steel Minimills," Economic Development Quarterly, , vol. 21(2), pages 148-164, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector," NBER Working Papers 19200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 2014. "Firm Performance in a Global Market," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 201-227, 08.
  3. Allen Tran, 2014. "The Aggregate Impact Of Online Retail," Working Papers 14-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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