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Identifying externalities in UK manufacturing using direct estimation of an average cost function

  • Driver, Ciaran
  • Temple, Paul
  • Urga, Giovanni

We test for the presence of externalities in UK manufacturing industry, seeking to identify the channels through which they operate. Using survey data on average variable cost available by industry, we estimate a translog cost function, storing the coefficients on time dummies for a second stage regression in which measures of external activity are entered to capture omitted spillover effects. We carry out the analysis for total manufacturing and for a panel of ten sub-sectors. We find weak evidence that fixed investment represents one significant channel; there is stronger evidence for an effect stemming from high utilisation in the mechanical engineering sector. This appears to be a combination of both thick market effects and knowledge based externalities.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics Letters.

Volume (Year): 92 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (August)
Pages: 228-233

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolet:v:92:y:2006:i:2:p:228-233
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolet

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  1. Jonathan Temple, 1999. "The New Growth Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 112-156, March.
  2. Donald S. Siegel & Catherine J. Morrison Paul, 1999. "Scale Economies and Industry Agglomeration Externalities: A Dynamic Cost Function Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 272-290, March.
  3. Oulton, Nicholas, 1996. "Increasing Returns and Externalities in UK Manufacturing: Myth or Reality?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 99-113, March.
  4. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  5. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error?," NBER Working Papers 5073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Basu, Susanto, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-51, August.
  7. Argia M. Sbordone, 1994. "Interpreting the procyclical productivity of manufacturing sectors: external effects or labor hoarding?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Bartelsman, Eric J & Caballero, Ricardo J & Lyons, Richard K, 1994. "Customer- and Supplier-Driven Externalities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 1075-84, September.
  9. Caballero, R.J. & Lyons, R.K., 1991. "External Effects in U.S. Procyclical Productivity," Papers 91-19, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  10. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  11. Mansfield, Edwin, 1985. "How Rapidly Does New Industrial Technology Leak Out?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(2), pages 217-23, December.
  12. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  13. Caballero, Ricardo J. & Lyons, Richard K., 1990. "Internal versus external economies in European industry," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 805-826, June.
  14. Ciaran Driver & Giovanni Urga, 2004. "Transforming Qualitative Survey Data: Performance Comparisons for the UK," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(1), pages 71-89, 02.
  15. Sharon G. Harrison, 2003. "Returns to Scale and Externalities in the Consumption and Investment Sectors," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 963-976, October.
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