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Materials Prices And Productivity

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  • Enghin Atalay

Abstract

There is substantial within-industry variation in the prices that plants pay for their material inputs. Using plant-level data from the US Census Bureau, I explore the consequences and sources of this variation in materials prices. For a sample of industries with relatively homogeneous products, the standard deviation of plant-level productivity would be 7% smaller if all plants faced the same materials prices. Moreover, plant-level materials prices are persistent, spatially correlated, and positively associated with the probability of exit. The contribution of entry and exit to aggregate productivity growth is smaller for productivity measures that are purged of materials price variation. After documenting these patterns, I discuss three potential sources of materials price variation: geography, differences in suppliers' marginal costs, and within-supplier markup differences. Together, these variables explain 15% of the variation of materials prices.

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  • Enghin Atalay, 2014. "Materials Prices And Productivity," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 575-611, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:12:y:2014:i:3:p:575-611
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    Cited by:

    1. Bruno Merlevede & Angelos Theodorakopoulos, 2016. "Productivity effects from inter-industry offshoring and inshoring: Firm-level evidence from Belgium," FIW Working Paper series 165, FIW.
    2. repec:aea:aejmac:v:9:y:2017:i:4:p:254-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. David C. Maré, 2016. "Urban Productivity Estimation with Heterogeneous Prices and Labour," Working Papers 16_21, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    4. Emanuele Forlani & Ralf Martin & Giordano Mion & Mirabelle Muûls, 2016. "Unraveling firms: Demand, productivity and markups heterogeneity," Working Paper Research 293, National Bank of Belgium.
    5. Jan De Loecker & Catherine Fuss & Johannes Van Biesebroeck, 2014. "International competition and firm performance : Evidence from Belgium," Working Paper Research 269, National Bank of Belgium.
    6. Kondor, Péter & Koren, Miklós & Pál, Jenő & Szeidl, Ádám, 2014. "Cégek kapcsolati hálózatainak gazdasági szerepe
      [The economic role of the networks of connections possessed by firms]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1341-1360.
    7. Grieco, Paul L. E. & Li, Shengyu & Zhang, Hongsong, 2015. "Multi-Dimensional Effects of International Trade: The Experience of Chinese Manufacturers," RIEI Working Papers 2015-05, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Research Institute for Economic Integration.
    8. Wassie, Tewodros Ayenew, 2017. "Revisiting the causal effects of exporting on productivity: Does price heterogeneity matter?," MPRA Paper 80576, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Enghin Atalay, 2017. "How Important Are Sectoral Shocks?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 254-280, October.
    10. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Impact of Foreign Tourists on Productivity in the Accommodation Industry: A panel data analysis," Discussion papers 17106, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    11. Chen Yeh, 2017. "Are firm-level idiosyncratic shocks important for U.S. aggregate volatility?," Working Papers 17-23, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    12. Ulf Lewrick & Lukas Mohler & Rolf Weder, 2014. "When firms and industries matter: understanding the sources of productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 469, Bank for International Settlements.
    13. David M. Newbery & Thomas P. Greve, 2015. "The robustness of industrial commodity oligopoly pricing strategies," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1540, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    14. repec:ilo:ilowps:486444 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. MORIKAWA Masayuki, 2017. "Dispersion and Volatility of TFPQ in Service Industries," Discussion papers 17088, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    16. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes., 2014. "How tight is the link between wages and productivity? : a survey of the literature," ILO Working Papers 994864443402676, International Labour Organization.
    17. Smeets, Valerie & Warzynski, Frederic, 2013. "Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 237-244.
    18. Bethany DeSalvo & Frank F. Limehouse & Shawn D. Klimek, 2016. "Documenting the Business Register and Related Economic Business Data," Working Papers 16-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    19. Chen Yeh, 2016. "Are firm-level idiosyncratic shocks important for U.S. aggregate volatility?," Working Papers 16-47, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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