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Search Theory and the Manufacturing Progress Function

Author

Listed:
  • John F. Muth

    (School of Business, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405)

Abstract

A theory based upon random search within a fixed population of technological possibilities is used to explain the manufacturing progress function. The theory is consistent with the power function relation between unit costs and cumulative output that has frequently been observed. It is also consistent with initial rates of improvement smaller than those predicted later by the power function relation, the eventual cessation of cost reduction, and an irregularity of improvements. Existing theories in the literature either fail to agree with the main empirical phenomena or else assume precisely what they attempt to explain.

Suggested Citation

  • John F. Muth, 1986. "Search Theory and the Manufacturing Progress Function," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(8), pages 948-962, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:32:y:1986:i:8:p:948-962
    as

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.32.8.948
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