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Patterns of plant adjustment

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  • Plutarchos Sakellaris

Abstract

This paper provides a description of the dynamic choices of manufacturing plants when they undertake rapid adjustment in output. The focus is on episodes that involve lumpy adjustment in capital or employment. I examine the behavior of variables such as capital utilization, hours per worker, overtime use, capacity utilization, materials and energy use. Finally I describe the observed patterns of productivity during those adjustment episodes and propose some hypotheses that seem to fit them. The costs associated with output adjustment seem to arise from building and destroying a particular organization of the structure of production and associated worker experience. As such they are related to learning-by-doing and investment in specific training.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2001-05.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-05

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Related research

Keywords: Manufactures ; Productivity ; Industrial capacity;

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References

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  1. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  2. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "Accounting for Growth," RCER Working Papers 475, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    • Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
  5. Baily, Martin Neil & Bartelsman, Eric J. & Haltiwanger, John, 1995. "Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics," Serie Research Memoranda 0050, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  6. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Ramey, Valerie A, 1994. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624, August.
  7. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  8. Carol Corrado & Joe Mattey, 1997. "Capacity Utilization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-167, Winter.
  9. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Burnside, C & Eichenbaum, M & Rebelo, S, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," RCER Working Papers 402, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  11. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
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