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A Spatial Analysis of Sectoral Complementarity

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  • Timothy G. Conley
  • Bill Dupor

Abstract

This paper presents a spatial econometric method for characterizing productivity comovement across sectors of the U.S. economy. Input-output relations provide an economic distance measure that is used to characterize interactions between sectors, as well as conduct estimation and inference. We construct two different economic distance measures. One metric implies that two sectors are close to one another if they use inputs of other industrial sectors in nearly the same proportion, and the other metric implies that sectors are close if their outputs are used by the same sectors. Our model holds that covariance in productivity growth across sectors is a function of economic distance. We find that (1) positive cross-sector covariance of productivity growth generates a substantial fraction of the variance in aggregate productivity, (2) cross-sector productivity covariance tends to be greatest between sectors with similar input relations, and (3) there are constant to modest increasing returns to scale. We test and reject the hypothesis that these correlations are due to a common shock.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy G. Conley & Bill Dupor, 2003. "A Spatial Analysis of Sectoral Complementarity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(2), pages 311-352, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:111:y:2003:i:2:p:311-352
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
    2. Arthur F. Burns & Wesley C. Mitchell, 1946. "Measuring Business Cycles," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number burn46-1.
    3. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 453-473.
    4. Susanto Basu, 1996. "Procyclical Productivity: Increasing Returns or Cyclical Utilization?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 719-751.
    5. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
    6. Chen, Xiaoheng & Conley, Timothy G., 2001. "A new semiparametric spatial model for panel time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 59-83, November.
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