Complementarity and Cost Reduction: Evidence from the Auto Supply Industry
AbstractOver the last 20 years, the success of Japanese manufacturing firms has brought renewed attention to the importance of cost reduction on existing products as a source of productivity growth. This paper uses survey data and field interviews from the auto supply industry to explore the determinants of average-cost reduction for a sample of 171 plants in the United States and Canada between 1988 and 1992. The main result is that the determinants of cost reduction differ markedly between firms which had employee involvement programs in 1988 and firms that did not. The two groups of firms achieved equal amounts of cost reduction, but did so in very different ways. Firms with employee involvement saw their costs fall more if they also had such involvement gained no cost-reduction benefit from these programs; instead, their cost-reduction success was largely a function of increases in volume. These results provide support for Milgrom and Roberts's concept that certain production practices exhibit complementarity.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6033.
Date of creation: May 1997
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Akerlof, George A, 1982. "Labor Contracts as Partial Gift Exchange," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 97(4), pages 543-69, November.
- Helper, Susan & Levine, David I, 1992. "Long-Term Supplier Relations and Product-Market Structure," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 561-81, October.
- Aoki, Masahiko, 1990. "Toward an Economic Model of the Japanese Firm," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 1-27, March.
- Samuel Hollander, 1965. "The Sources of Increased Efficiency: A Study of DuPont Rayon Plants," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258235x, December.
- Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw & Giovanna Prennushi, 1995. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity," NBER Working Papers 5333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hirschman,Albert O., 1981. "Essays in Trespassing," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521282437, October.
- Paul S. Adler & Kim B. Clark, 1991. "Behind the Learning Curve: A Sketch of the Learning Process," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(3), pages 267-281, March.
- Kim B. Clark, 1989. "Project Scope and Project Performance: The Effect of Parts Strategy and Supplier Involvement on Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(10), pages 1247-1263, October.
- Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2007.
"Complementarities in automobile production,"
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1315-1345.
- Kato, Takao & Lee, Ju Ho & Ryu, Jang-Soo, 2010. "The Productivity Effects of Profit Sharing, Employee Ownership, Stock Option and Team Incentive Plans: Evidence from Korean Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Derek C. Jones & Srecko Goic, 2010. "Do Innovative Workplace Practices Foster Mutual Gains? Evidence From Croatia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp993, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Joshua G. Rosett & Richard N. Rosett, 1999. "Characteristics of TQM: Evidence from the RIT/USA Today Quality Cup Competition," NBER Working Papers 7241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes‐Gellner, 2011.
"Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination,"
Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 427-447, 08.
- Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2009. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Working Papers 0116, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Nov 2010.
- Uwe Jirjahn & Jens Mohrenweiser & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2010. "Works Councils and Learning: On the Dynamic Dimension of Codetermination," Research Papers in Economics 2010-06, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
- Helper, Susan & Levine, David I. & Bendoly, Elliott, 2000.
"Employee Involvement and Pay at U.S. and Canadian Auto Suppliers,"
Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series
qt8t51741b, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
- Susan Helper & David I. Levine & Elliot Bendoly, 2002. "Employee Involvement And Pay At Us And Canadian Auto Suppliers," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 329-377, 06.
- Helper, S. & Levine, D.I. & Bendoly, E., 1999. "Employee Involvment and Pay at U.S. and Canadian Auto Suppliers," Papers 71, California Berkeley - Institute of Industrial Relations.
- Iain Cockburn & Rebecca Henderson & Scott Stern, 1999. "The Diffusion of Science-Driven Drug Discovery: Organizational Change in Pharmaceutical Research," NBER Working Papers 7359, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato, 2003. "The Effect of Employee Involvment on Firm Performance: Evidence from an Econometric Case Study," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-612, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Hiroyuki Chuma & Takao Kato & Isao Ohashi, 2004. "What Japanese Workers Want: Evidence from the Japanese Worker Representation and Participation Survey," Discussion papers 04019, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
- Jones, Derek & Kato, Takao, 2007.
"The Impact of Teams on Output, Quality and Downtime: An Empirical Analysis Using Individual Panel Data,"
104-24, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
- Jones, Derek C. & Kato, Takao, 2007. "The Impact of Teams on Output, Quality and Downtime: An Empirical Analysis Using Individual Panel Data," IZA Discussion Papers 2917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Sharon Novak & Scott Stern, 2007. "Complementarity Among Vertical Integration Decisions: Evidence from Automobile Product Development," NBER Working Papers 13232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.