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A theory of factor allocation and plant size

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  • Thomas J. Holmes
  • Matthew F. Mitchell

Abstract

This article develops a theory of how capital, skilled labor, and unskilled labor interact at the plant level. The theory has implications for the relationship between factor allocation and plant size and the effects of trade and growth on the skill premium. The theory is consistent with certain facts about factor allocation and factor price changes in the 19th and 20th centuries. Copyright (c) 2008, RAND.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas J. Holmes & Matthew F. Mitchell, 2008. "A theory of factor allocation and plant size," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 329-351.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:39:y:2008:i:2:p:329-351
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    File URL: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.0741-6261.2008.00017.x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
    2. Jeremy Atack & Fred Bateman & Robert A. Margo, 2000. "Rising Wage Dispersion Across American Manufacturing Establishments, 1850-1880," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0036, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    3. Francesco Caselli, 1999. "Technological Revolutions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 78-102, March.
    4. Atack, Jeremy & Bateman, Fred & Margo, Robert A., 2004. "Skill Intensity and Rising Wage Dispersion in Nineteenth-Century American Manufacturing," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 64(01), pages 172-192, March.
    5. Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "General Purpose Technology and Wage Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 315-345, December.
    7. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
    8. Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Evidence On The Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 15-26, February.
    9. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Rampini, Adriano A., 2007. "New or used? Investment with credit constraints," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2656-2681, November.
    10. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
    11. David H. Autor & Frank Levy & Richard J. Murnane, 2003. "The skill content of recent technological change: an empirical exploration," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
    12. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1998. "The Origins of Technology-Skill Complementarity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 693-732.
    13. Brown, Martin & Philips, Peter, 1986. "Craft Labor and Mechanization in Nineteenth-Century American Canning," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(03), pages 743-756, September.
    14. Goldin, Claudia & Sokoloff, Kenneth, 1982. "Women, Children, and Industrialization in the Early Republic: Evidence from the Manufacturing Censuses," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(04), pages 741-774, December.
    15. Oded Galor & Omer Moav, 2000. "Ability-Biased Technological Transition, Wage Inequality, and Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 469-497.
    16. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
    17. Todd Idson, 2000. "Employer Size Effects in Russia," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 300, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    18. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
    19. Markus Mobius & Raphael Schoenle, 2006. "The Evolution of Work," NBER Working Papers 12694, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Griliches, Zvi, 1969. "Capital-Skill Complementarity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(4), pages 465-468, November.
    21. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    22. Matthew F. Mitchell, 2005. "Specialization And The Skill Premium In The 20th Century," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(3), pages 935-955, August.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Kurokawa, Yoshinori, 2010. "Fixed cost, number of firms, and skill premium: An alternative source for rising wage inequality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 141-144, August.
    2. Ana Cardoso & Shoshana Neuman & Adrian Ziderman, 2010. "Wage Mobility in Israel: The Effect of Sectoral Concentration," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 146-161, June.
    3. Yoshinori Kurokawa, 2014. "A Simple Model of Competition Policies, Trade, and the Skill Premium," Tsukuba Economics Working Papers 2014-002, Economics, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Tsukuba, revised Sep 2017.
    4. Graetz, Georg & Feng, Andy, 2014. "Rise of the Machines: The Effects of Labor-Saving Innovations on Jobs and Wages," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100401, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Gavilan, Angel, 2012. "Wage inequality, segregation by skill and the price of capital in an assignment model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 116-137.
    6. Thomas Holmes, 2004. "EconomicDynamics Interviews Thomas Holmes on Dynamic Economic Geography," EconomicDynamics Newsletter, Review of Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(1), November.
    7. repec:bla:reviec:v:25:y:2017:i:1:p:108-131 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Damir Stijepic, 2016. "Small Employers, Large Employers and the Skill Premium," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 381-387.
    9. Stijepic, Damir, 2013. "Successive Technical Change and the Demand for Skill," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79870, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Richard Walker, 2005. "Superstars and Renaissance Men: Specialization, Market Size and the Income Distribution," CEP Discussion Papers dp0707, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    11. Walker, Richard, 2005. "Superstars and renaissance men: specialization, market size and the income distribution," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19880, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. repec:pri:cepsud:113krusell is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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