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Technology, Capital Spending, And Capacity Utilization

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  • CYNTHIA BANSAK
  • NORMAN MORIN
  • MARTHA STARR

Abstract

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)

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
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1465-7295.2007.00019.x
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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. Michalis Nikiforos, 2020. "Notes on the Accumulation and Utilization of Capital: Some Empirical Issues," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_953, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Dawei (David) Zhang & Barrie R. Nault & Xueqi (David) Wei, 2019. "The Strategic Value of Information Technology in Setting Productive Capacity," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 30(4), pages 1124-1144, December.
    4. Arto Kovanen, 2019. "Wage Growth Puzzle and Capacity Utilization," Applied Economics and Finance, Redfame publishing, vol. 6(2), pages 15-31, March.
    5. 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).
    6. Santiago J. Gahn, 2020. "Is there a decreasing trend in capacity utilisation in the US economy? Some new evidence," Working Papers PKWP2006, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    7. Ghulam, Yaseen, 2017. "Long-run performance of an industry after broader reforms including privatization," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 745-768.
    8. Arto Kovanen, 2019. "Perspectives From the Past for the Federal Reserve¡¯s Monetary Policy and Communication," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 10(1), pages 31-51, January.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.

    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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