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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. 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.
  2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 691-723, June.
  3. 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.
  4. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  5. Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Innovating firms and aggregate innovation," Staff Report 300, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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  7. Veerle Miranda & Marialuz Moreno Badia & Ilke Van Beveren, 2012. "Globalization drives strategic product switching," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 45-72, April.
  8. Satyajit Chatterjee & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2007. "Spin-offs and the Market for Ideas," NBER Working Papers 13198, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson L., 1988. "Plant Turnover And Gross Employment Flows In The U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Papers 9-87-7, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  10. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  11. Roc Armenter & Miklós Koren, 2008. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," CeFiG Working Papers 3, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 01 May 2008.
  12. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  13. 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.
  14. Panzar, John C & Willig, Robert D, 1977. "Economies of Scale in Multi-Output Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 481-93, August.
  15. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  16. 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.
  17. Avner Shaked & John Sutton, 1990. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(1), pages 45-62, Spring.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
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