Productivity Adjustments and Learning-by-Doing as Human Capital
AbstractThis paper measures plant-level productivity gains associated with learning curves across the entire manufacturing sector. We measure these gains at plant startups and also after major employment changes. We find: 1.) The gains are strongly associated with a variety of human capital measures implying that learning-by-doing is largely a firm-specific human capital investment. 2.) This implicit investment is large; many plants invest as much in learning-by-doing as they invest in physical capital and much more than they invest in formal job training. 3.) This investment differs persistently over industries and is higher with greater R&D. 4.) Consistent with a learning-by-doing interpretation, the human capital investment is much larger following employment decreases than increases. We conclude that learning-by-doing is a major factor in wage determination, technical progress and asymmetric employment adjustment costs.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 97-17.
Date of creation: Nov 1997
Date of revision:
CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;
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