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Multiple-Product Firms and Product Switching

  • Andrew B. Bernard
  • Stephen J. Redding
  • Peter K. Schott

This paper examines the frequency, pervasiveness, and determinants of product switching by US manufacturing firms. We find that one-half of firms alter their mix of five-digit SIC products every five years, that product switching is correlated with both firm- and firm-product attributes, and that product adding and dropping induce large changes in firm scope. The behavior we observe is consistent with a natural generalization of existing theories of industry dynamics that incorporates endogenous product selection within firms. Our findings suggest that product switching contributes to a reallocation of resources within firms toward their most efficient use. (JEL L11, L21, L25, L60)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 100 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 70-97

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:1:p:70-97
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.1.70
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  1. Klette, Tor Jakob & Kortum, Samuel, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Memorandum 02/2002, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "Plant Turnover and Gross Employment Flows in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 7(1), pages 48-71, January.
  7. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  8. Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82.
  9. Dunne, Timothy & Klimek, Shawn D. & Roberts, Mark J., 2005. "Exit from regional manufacturing markets: The role of entrant experience," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 399-421, June.
  10. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  11. Peter E. Rossi & Judith A. Chevalier & Anil K. Kashyap, 2002. "Why Don't Prices Rise During Periods of Peak Demand? Evidence from Scanner Data," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm291, Yale School of Management.
  12. 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.
  13. Armenter, Roc & Koren, Miklós, 2010. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Veerle Miranda & Marialuz Moreno Badia & Ilke Van Beveren, 2012. "Globalization drives strategic product switching," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(1), pages 45-72, April.
  15. John C. Panzar & Robert D. Willig, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-493.
  16. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
  17. Gollop, Frank M & Monahan, James L, 1991. "A Generalized Index of Diversification: Trends in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 318-30, May.
  18. Baumol, William J, 1977. "On the Proper Cost Tests for Natural Monopoly in a Multiproduct Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 809-22, December.
  19. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1990. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 45-62, Spring.
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