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Econometric analysis of productivity with measurement error: Empirical application to the US Railroad industry

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  • Coublucq, Daniel
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    Abstract

    This paper analyzes the productivity in the US rail industry for the period 1980 - 2006. I propose a value-added production framework to circumvent the problem of measurement error in one input. I find evidence showing that aggregate productivity gains can be attributed to returns to scale and the reshuffling of resources to more efficient firms. However, productivity slows down for the period 1995 - 2000 after important concentrations. I also look at the correlations between firm-level productivity and the operating environment. My results show that failing to control for the omitted price variable bias leads to an overestimation of productivity gains. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Heinrich‐Heine‐Universität Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE) in its series DICE Discussion Papers with number 95.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:dicedp:95

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    Keywords: industry dynamics; measurement error; productivity; selection; simultaneity; railroad industry;

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    1. Ellig, Jerry, 2002. "Railroad Deregulation and Consumer Welfare," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 143-67, March.
    2. Dubois, P. & Nauges, C., 2006. "Identifying the effect of unobserved quality and experts' reviews in the pricing of experience goods : empirical application on Bordeaux wine," Economics Working Paper Archive (Toulouse) 200607, French Institute for Agronomy Research (INRA), Economics Laboratory in Toulouse (ESR Toulouse).
    3. Ann F. Friedlaender, 1992. "Coal Rates and Revenue Adequacy in a Quasi-Regulated Rail Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(3), pages 376-394, Autumn.
    4. Clifford Winston & Vikram Maheshri & Scott M. Dennis, 2011. "Long-Run Effects of Mergers: The Case of U.S. Western Railroads," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(2), pages 275 - 304.
    5. Ivaldi Marc & Mccullough Gerard, 2008. "Subadditivity Tests for Network Separation with an Application to U.S. Railroads," Review of Network Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, March.
    6. Wilson, Wesley W, 1994. "Market-Specific Effects of Rail Deregulation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 1-22, March.
    7. Ann F. Friedlaender & Ernst R. Berndt & Judy Shaw-Er Wang Chiang & Mark Showalter & Christopher A. Vellturo, 1991. "Rail Costs and Capital Adjustments in a Quasi-Regulated Environment," NBER Working Papers 3841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wilson, Wesley W, 1997. "Cost Savings and Productivity in the Railroad Industry," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 21-40, January.
    9. Klette, T.J., 1992. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators when Output Prices are unobserved and Endogenous," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1586, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    10. Ivaldi, Marc & Mccullough, Gerard, 2010. "Welfare Tradeoffs in U.S. Rail Mergers," TSE Working Papers 10-196, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    11. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
    12. Petia Topalova & Amit Khandelwal, 2011. "Trade Liberalization and Firm Productivity: The Case of India," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 995-1009, August.
    13. Ivaldi, M & McCullough, G J, 2001. "Density and Integration Effects on Class I U.S. Freight Railroads," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 161-82, March.
    14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2003. "Computing Productivity: Firm-Level Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 793-808, November.
    15. Ulrich Doraszelski & Mark Satterthwaite, 2010. "Computable Markov-perfect industry dynamics," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 41(2), pages 215-243.
    16. Waters II, William G., 2007. "Evolution of Railroad Economics," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 11-67, January.
    17. John Bitzan & Wesley Wilson, 2007. "Industry costs and consolidation: efficiency gains and mergers in the U.S. railroad industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 81-105, March.
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