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Measurement and Sources of Economies of Scope: A Primal Approach

  • Jean-Paul Chavas
  • Kwansoo Kim

Scope economies (reflecting the benefit of a multioutput firm) have been defined by Baumol, Panzar, and Willig in the context of cost functions. This paperuses Luenberger's shortage function to develop a general measure of scope economies directly from the underlying technology. The analysis applies under complete as well as partial specialization. Our primal measure of economies of scope is decomposed into four additive parts: one measuring complementarity, one reflecting economies of scale, one reflecting convexity of the technology, and one reflecting the role of catalytic outputs. This decomposition appears useful and helps generate valuable insights into the economics of specialization.

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Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics.

Volume (Year): 163 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 411-427

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:jinste:urn:sici:0932-4569(200709)163:3_411:masoeo_2.0.tx_2-d
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  1. Scott J. Callan & Janet M. Thomas, 2001. "Economies of Scale and Scope: A Cost Analysis of Municipal Solid Waste Services," Land Economics, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 77(4), pages 548-560.
  2. Baumol, William J, 1982. "Contestable Markets: An Uprising in the Theory of Industry Structure," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(1), pages 1-15, March.
  3. Chambers, Robert G. & Chung, Yangho & Fare, Rolf, 1996. "Benefit and Distance Functions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 407-419, August.
  4. Ferrier, Gary D. & Grosskopf, Shawna & Hayes, Kathy J. & Yaisawarng, Suthathip, 1993. "Economies of diversification in the banking industry : A frontier approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 229-249, April.
  5. Afriat, Sidney N, 1972. "Efficiency Estimation of Production Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 13(3), pages 568-98, October.
  6. Cohn, Elchanan & Rhine, Sherrie L W & Santos, Maria C, 1989. "Institutions of Higher Education as Multi-product Firms: Economies of Scale and Scope," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 284-90, May.
  7. Tai-Hsin Huang & Mei-Hui Wang, 2001. "Measuring scale and scope economies in multiproduct banking? A stochastic frontier cost function approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(3), pages 159-162.
  8. Tor Jakob Klette, 1996. "R&D, Scope Economies, and Plant Performance," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(3), pages 502-522, Autumn.
  9. de Groot, Hans & McMahon, Walter W & Volkwein, J Fredericks, 1991. "The Cost Structure of American Research Universities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 424-31, August.
  10. Ian E. Gorman, 1985. "Conditions for Economies of Scope in the Presence of Fixed Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 16(3), pages 431-436, Autumn.
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