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Technology, Capital Spending, And Capacity Utilization




"Capacity utilization is a closely watched macroeconomic indicator because rising utilization may signal rising inflationary pressures. However, recent technological changes have increased the flexibility of relationships between inputs and outputs, potentially eroding the predictive value of the utilization rate. This paper examines relationships between technology, capital spending, and capacity utilization. After establishing conceptually that the effect of recent technological changes on capacity utilization is ambiguous, we investigate the effect empirically using panel data on 111 manufacturing industries. Our results suggest that, for the average industry, the technological change of the 1974-2000 period lowered capacity utilization by 0.2-2.3 percentage points." ("JEL" D24, E22, E31) Copyright 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Cynthia Bansak & Norman Morin & Martha Starr, 2007. "Technology, Capital Spending, And Capacity Utilization," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 45(3), pages 631-645, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:45:y:2007:i:3:p:631-645

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Valerie A. Ramey & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2001. "Displaced Capital: A Study of Aerospace Plant Closings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(5), pages 958-992, October.
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    4. Paul Nightingale & Tim Brady & Andrew Davies & Jeremy Hall, 2003. "Capacity utilization revisited: software, control and the growth of large technical systems," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 12(3), pages 477-517, June.
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    7. Prucha, Ingmar R. & Nadiri, M. Ishaq, 1996. "Endogenous capital utilization and productivity measurement in dynamic factor demand models Theory and an application to the U.S. electrical machinery industry," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 343-379.
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    16. Niek Nahuis, 2003. "An alternative demand indicator: the 'non-accelerating inflation rate of capacity utilization'," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(11), pages 1339-1344.
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    Cited by:

    1. William Robert Reed, 2015. "On the Practice of Lagging Variables to Avoid Simultaneity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(6), pages 897-905, December.
    2. repec:eee:riibaf:v:42:y:2017:i:c:p:745-768 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Renata Grzeda Latocha & Gernot Nerb, 2004. "Modelling Short-term Interest Rates in the Euro Area Using Business Survey Data," Journal of Business Cycle Measurement and Analysis, OECD Publishing, Centre for International Research on Economic Tendency Surveys, vol. 2004(1), pages 43-69.
    4. W. Robert Reed, 2013. "A Note on the Practice of Lagging Variables to Avoid Simultaneity," Working Papers in Economics 13/32, University of Canterbury, Department of Economics and Finance.
    5. Petrit Gashi & Iraj Hashi & Geoff Pugh, 2014. "Export behaviour of SMEs in transition countries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 407-435, February.
    6. Belaid RETTAB & Ton KWAAK & Azzeddine AZZAM, 2010. "An Optimization Procedure for Estimating the Stock of Capital: Application to Ten Production Sectors of Dubai," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 10(1).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation


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