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The Scope and Organization of Production: Firm Dynamics Over the Learning Curve

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  • Matthew F. Mitchell

Abstract

I introduce a Bayesian-learning model of the firm to account for a variety of empirical facts about firms. The many tasks the firm can undertake (the scope of the firm) are informationally related, so that the firm can enjoy some economies of scope from information. The model predicts changes in firm size and its comovement with firm scope that are broadly consistent with the empirical evidence. It also provides an explanation for the limits to the scope of the firm: the firm may lack information, or it may be costly to communicate the information necessary to undertake many tasks.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew F. Mitchell, 2000. "The Scope and Organization of Production: Firm Dynamics Over the Learning Curve," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(1), pages 180-205, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:31:y:2000:i:spring:p:180-205
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Specific Capital and Technological Variety," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 129-152.
    2. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "The Anatomy of the Firm Size Distribution: The Evolution of its Variance and Skewness," WIFO Working Papers 295, WIFO.
    3. Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "Firm Growth Under Sample Selection: Conditional σ-Convergence in Firm Size?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(4), pages 303-328, December.
    4. Renáta Kosová & Francine Lafontaine, 2010. "SURVIVAL AND GROWTH IN RETAIL AND SERVICE INDUSTRIES: EVIDENCE FROM FRANCHISED CHAINS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 542-578, September.
    5. Gianni Amisano & Maria Letizia Giorgetti, 2005. "Entry in Pharmaceutical submarkets: A Bayesian Panel Probit Approach," Working Papers ubs0511, University of Brescia, Department of Economics.
    6. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2010. "Testing for Conditional Convergence in Variance and Skewness: The Firm Size Distribution Revisited," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 72(5), pages 648-668, October.
    7. Weintraub, Gabriel Y. & Benkard, C. Lanier & Van Roy, Benjamin, 2011. "Industry dynamics: Foundations for models with an infinite number of firms," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1965-1994, September.
    8. Gianni Amisano & Maria Letizia Giorgetti, 2013. "Entry Into Pharmaceutical Submarkets: A Bayesian Panel Probit Analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(4), pages 667-701, June.
    9. Maria Letizia GIORGETTI & Maria Luisa MANCUSI, 2016. "Entry and Patenting in the Pharmaceutical Industry," Departmental Working Papers 2016-02, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    10. Frantzeskakis, Kyriakos & Ueda, Masako, 2007. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Firm's Life Cycle and Mergers as Efficient Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6079, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2004. "Export orientation, foreign affiliates, and the growth of Austrian manufacturing firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 411-423, July.
    12. Bernardo, Antonio & Chowdhry, Bhagwan, 1998. "Resources, real options, and corporate strategy," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt2m96n2gw, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    13. Philip Auerswald, 2010. "Entry and Schumpeterian profits," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 553-582, August.
    14. Bernardo, Antonio E. & Chowdhry, Bhagwan, 2002. "Resources, real options, and corporate strategy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 211-234, February.

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