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The impact of knowledge accumulation and geographical spillovers on productivity and efficiency: The case of U. S. shipbuilding during WWII

  • Blazek, David
  • Sickles, Robin C.

This paper examines the productivity and efficiency experience of World War II Liberty ship builders using two complementary paradigms which can be viewed as alternative specifications of the endogenous growth model introduced by Romer (1986) and the stochastic frontier production model introduced by Aigner, Lovell, and Schmidt (1977). We develop modifications in the endogenous growth model to allow for learning as well as spatial spillovers by relating productivity growth to cumulative productive experience (the 'learning curve') and to worker experience as it is transferred and utilized across different geographical regions. We also consider the relative impact of both proximal and distant simultaneous production on productivity growth. We then utilize a framework in which the efficiency component of productivity growth is explicitly considered using a stochastic frontier model wherein contributions to productivity growth introduced in the endogenous growth model are formally modeled as determinants of efficiency change. The statistical treatments can either be considered as special cases of or as motivated by the random coefficients models introduced by (Swamy, 1970), (Swamy, 1971) and (Swamy, 1974). We thus offer a linkage between the neoclassical growth literature and the literature that explicitly recognizes that technical innovations as well as efficiency are the major drivers of productivity growth.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 27 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (November)
Pages: 1484-1497

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:27:y:2010:i:6:p:1484-1497
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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  1. Byeong Park & Robin C. Sickles & Leopold Simar, 2000. "Semiparametric Efficient Estimation of AR(1) Panel Data Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1510, Econometric Society.
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  13. Adams, Robert M & Berger, Allen N & Sickles, Robin C, 1999. "Semiparametric Approaches to Stochastic Panel Frontiers with Applications in the Banking Industry," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(3), pages 349-58, July.
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  16. Peter Thompson, 1997. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Learn? New Evidence for an Old Case Study," Development and Comp Systems 9712001, EconWPA.
  17. Aigner, Dennis & Lovell, C. A. Knox & Schmidt, Peter, 1977. "Formulation and estimation of stochastic frontier production function models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 21-37, July.
  18. PARK, Byeong U. & SICKLES, Robin C. & SIMAR, Léopold, 1996. "Stochastic Panel Frontiers : A Semiparametric Approach," CORE Discussion Papers 1996038, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  24. Kazuhiro Mishina, 1999. "Learning by New Experiences: Revisiting the Flying Fortress Learning Curve," NBER Chapters, in: Learning by Doing in Markets, Firms, and Countries, pages 145-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. George E. Battese & Greg S. Corra, 1977. "Estimation Of A Production Frontier Model: With Application To The Pastoral Zone Of Eastern Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 21(3), pages 169-179, December.
  26. Seiford, Lawrence M. & Thrall, Robert M., 1990. "Recent developments in DEA : The mathematical programming approach to frontier analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 7-38.
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