Technology, capital spending, and capacity utilization
AbstractThis paper examines the relationships between technology, capital spending, and capacity utilization. Recent technological changes have increased the flexibility of relationships between inputs and outputs in manufacturing, which may have eroded the predictive value of the utilization rate. This paper considers how technology might be expected to affect utilization. We show that recent changes could either lower average utilization by making it cheaper to hold excess capacity, or raise utilization by making further changes in capacity less costly and time-consuming. We then examine the effects of technology on utilization, using data on 111 manufacturing industries from 1974 to 2000. The results suggest that, for the average industry, the technological change of that period had a modest but appreciable effect, shaving between 0.2 percentage point and 2.3 percentage points off the utilization rate.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2004-30.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Other versions of this item:
- Cynthia Bansak & Norman Morin & Martha Starr, 2007. "Technology, Capital Spending, And Capacity Utilization," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 631-645, 07.
- Cynthia Bansak & Norman Morin & Martha Starr, 2003. "Technology, Capital Spending, and Capacity Utilization," Working Papers 0010, San Diego State University, Department of Economics.
- D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
- E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomics: Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Capital; Investment; Capacity
- E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-09 (All new papers)
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