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The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Engogenous

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  • Tor Jakob Klette
  • Zvi Griliches

Abstract

This paper explores the inconsistency of common scale estimators when output is proxied by deflated sales, based on a common output deflator across firms. The problems arise when firms operate in an imperfectly competitive environment and prices differ between firms. In particular, we show that the scale estimates will tend to be downward biased in the production function case, under a wide range of assumptions about the pattern of technology, demand and factor price shocks. The result also holds for scale estimates obtained from cost functions. The empirical part of the paper presents various estimates of scale economies for a sample of Norwegian manufacturing plants. The findings provide some support for the hypothesis that the firms face an imperfectly competitive environment. The estimates suggests that there are significant markups and scale economies to the variable factors of production in our sample. However, the estimates of markups and scale economies presented in this paper are substantially lower than the results obtained by Hall (1988, 1990) and others using industry level data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4026.

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Date of creation: Mar 1992
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Publication status: published as Journal of Applied Econometrics, vol. 11, pp. 343-361, 1996.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4026

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  1. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
  2. Eric J. Bartelsman & Ricardo J. Caballero & Richard K. Lyons, 1991. "Short and Long Run Externalities," NBER Working Papers 3810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1987. "Are Cyclical Fluctuations in Productivity Due More to Supply Shocks or Demand Shocks?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 822, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  4. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  5. Krugman, Paul R., 1989. "Industrial organization and international trade," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 20, pages 1179-1223 Elsevier.
  6. Eden, Benjamin & Griliches, Zvi, 1993. "Productivity, Market Power, and Capacity Utilization When Spot Markets Are Complete," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 219-23, May.
  7. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1981. "Productivity and R and D at the Firm Level," NBER Working Papers 0826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  9. Caleb A. Smith, 1955. "Survey of the Empirical Evidence on Economies of Scale," NBER Chapters, in: Business Concentration and Price Policy, pages 213-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1990. "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," NBER Working Papers 3256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ringstad, Vidar, 1974. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Decreasing Scale Elasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 87-101, January.
  13. Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "Some Evidence of Productivity Linkages in Manufacturing," Papers fb-27, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  14. Kenneth Arrow, 1962. "Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 609-626 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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