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Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry

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Author Info

  • Allan Collard-Wexler

    (New York University)

  • Jan De Loecker

    (Princeton University)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of technology and competition in industry-wide productivity growth. We rely on a unique producer-level dataset covering U.S. steel producers between 1963 and 2002 to measure the impact of a drastic new production technology, the minimill, on aggregate productivity. In addition we trace out its associated impact on productivity and market power through increased competition as measured by the reshuffling of market shares over time and across producers. We provide direct evidence that technological change can itself bring about a process of resource reallocation over a long period of time and lead to substantial productivity growth for the industry as a whole. More specifically, we find that the introduction of a new production technology spurred productivity growth through two channels. First, the entry of minimills lead to a slow but steady drop in the market share of the incumbent technology, the vertically integrated producers. Second, while the new technology started out with a significant productivity premium, by the end of the sample minimills and vertically integrated producers are very similar in terms of efficiency. This catching-up process of the incumbents came about from a large within reallocation of resources among vertically integrated plants.

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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/230deloecker.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1402.

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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:230deloecker

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Keywords: Productivity; Technology; Competition;

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References

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  1. George S Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics Of Productivity In The Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Working Papers 92-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51.
  3. Allan Collard-Wexler, 2010. "Productivity Dispersion and Plant Selection in the Ready-Mix Concrete Industry," 2010 Meeting Papers 105, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Sharon Oster, 1982. "The Diffusion of Innovation among Steel Firms: The Basic Oxygen Furnace," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(1), pages 45-56, Spring.
  5. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Liebman, Benjamin H. & Pierce, Justin R. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2013. "Are all trade protection policies created equal? Empirical evidence for nonequivalent market power effects of tariffs and quotas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 369-378.
  6. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-65, June.
  7. Ronald S. Jarmin & Shawn D. Klimek & Javier Miranda, 2009. "The Role of Retail Chains: National, Regional and Industry Results," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 237-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter Schott, 2003. "Survival of the best fit: exposure to low-wage countries and the (uneven) growth of US manufacturing plants," IFS Working Papers W03/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. Jan De Loecker & Frederic Warzynski, 2012. "Markups and Firm-Level Export Status," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2437-71, October.
  10. De Loecker, Jan & Konings, Jozef, 2006. "Job reallocation and productivity growth in a post-socialist economy: Evidence from Slovenian manufacturing," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 388-408, June.
  11. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Bresnahan, Timothy F. & Raff, Daniel M. G., 1991. "Intra-Industry Heterogeneity and the Great Depression: The American Motor Vehicles Industry, 1929–1935," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(02), pages 317-331, June.
  13. Asker, John & Collard-Wexler, Allan & De Loecker, Jan, 2011. "Productivity volatility and the misallocation of resources in developing economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 8469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2005. "What determines productivity? lessons from the dramatic recovery of the U.S. and Canadian iron-ore industries following their early 1980s crisis," Staff Report 286, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  15. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  16. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2000. "Measuring Productivity Dynamics with Endogenous Choice of Technology and Capacity Utilization: An Application to Automobile Assembly," Working Papers 00-16, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Johannes van Biesebroeck, 2003. "Productivity Dynamics with Technology Choice: An Application to Automobile Assembly," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 167-198.
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Cited by:
  1. Allen Tran, 2014. "The Aggregate Impact Of Online Retail," Working Papers 14-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector," NBER Working Papers 19200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 2013. "Firm Performance in a Global Market," NBER Working Papers 19308, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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