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Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level

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  • Timothy F. Bresnahan
  • Valerie A. Ramey

Abstract

This paper studies weekly output fluctuations from 1972 to 1983 at fifty final assembly plants in the U.S. automobile industry. The study makes use of a new data set that contains detailed information on plant operations. The main findings of the paper are: (1) Even at the simplest fabrication and assembly plant, there are a variety of margins on which production quantities are adjusted; (2) The production adjustment margins appear to have very different dynamic characteristics; and (3) The analysis of plant level data can lead to conclusions that are dramatically different from those reached using aggregated data, even though the data are driven by industry-wide shocks.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4105.

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Date of creation: Jun 1992
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Publication status: published as Bresnahan, Timothy F. and Valerie A. Ramey. "Output Fluctuations At The Plant Level," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 1994, v109(3), 593-624.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4105

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  1. Olivier J. Blanchard, 1982. "The Production and Inventory Behavior of the American Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 0891, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1982. "Comparing Productivity Growth: An Exploration of French and U.S. Industrial and Firm Data," NBER Working Papers 0961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  4. Aizcorbe, Ana M, 1992. "Procyclical Labour Productivity, Increasing Returns to Labour and Labour Hoarding in Car Assembly Plant Employment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 860-73, July.
  5. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper, 1992. "The Aggregate Implications Of Machine Replacement: Theory And Evidence," Working Papers 92-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1990. "Gross Job Creation and Destruction: Microeconomic Evidence and Macroeconomic Implications," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1990, Volume 5, pages 123-186 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1981. "Departures from marginal-cost pricing in the American automobile industry : Estimates for 1977-1978," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 201-227, November.
  8. Alan S. Blinder, 1981. "Retail Inventory Behavior and Business Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 12(2), pages 443-520.
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