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Production theory: accounting for firm heterogeneity and technical change

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  • G. Dosi
  • M. Grazzi
  • L. Marengo
  • S. Settepanella

Abstract

The paper presents a new framework to assess firm level heterogeneity and to study the rate and direction of technical change. Building on the analysis of revealed short-run production functions by Hildenbrand (1981), we propose the (normalized) volume of the zonotope composed by vectors-firms in a narrowly defined industry as an indicator of inter-firm heterogeneity. Moreover, the angles that the main diagonal of the zonotope form with the axes provide a measure of the rates and directions of technical change over time. The proposed framework can easily account for n-inputs and m-outputs and, crucially, the measures of heterogeneity and technical change do not require many of the standard assumptions from production theory.

Suggested Citation

  • G. Dosi & M. Grazzi & L. Marengo & S. Settepanella, 2014. "Production theory: accounting for firm heterogeneity and technical change," Working Papers wp931, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp931
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    19. Daouia, Abdelaati & Simar, Leopold, 2007. "Nonparametric efficiency analysis: A multivariate conditional quantile approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 375-400, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuji Aruka, 2018. "Hodgson’s bibliometric report and the reconstruction plan of economics," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 189-202, June.
    2. Giovanni Dosi & Marcelo C. Pereira & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2017. "The footprint of evolutionary processes of learning and selection upon the statistical properties of industrial dynamics," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 187-210.
    3. Giovanni Dosi & Dario Guarascio & Andrea Ricci & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2021. "Neodualism in the Italian business firms: training, organizational capabilities, and productivity distributions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(1), pages 167-189, June.
    4. Giovanni Dosi & Mariacristina Piva & Maria Enrica Virgillito & Marco Vivarelli, 2019. "Technology and employment in a vertically connected economy: a model and an empirical test," DISCE - Quaderni del Dipartimento di Politica Economica dipe0005, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    5. Atushi Ishikawa & Shouji Fujimoto & Takayuki Mizuno, 0. "Why does production function take the Cobb–Douglas form?," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-24.
    6. Isabel Almudi & Francisco Fatas-Villafranca & Jesus Palacio & Julio Sanchez-Choliz, 2020. "Pricing routines and industrial dynamics," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 705-739, July.
    7. Dosi, G. & Piva, M. & Virgillito, M.E. & Vivarelli, M., 2021. "Embodied and disembodied technological change: The sectoral patterns of job-creation and job-destruction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(4).
    8. Yuji Aruka, 2017. "Some new perspectives on the inter-country analysis of the world production system," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 467-498, December.
    9. ARATA Yoshiyuki & ONOZAKI Tamotsu, 2017. "A Compositional Data Analysis of Market Share Dynamics," Discussion papers 17076, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    10. Giovanni Dosi & Xiaodan Yu, 2017. "Technological catching-up, sales dynamics and employment growth: evidence from China's manufacturing firms," LEM Papers Series 2017/27, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. M. Grazzi & C. Piccardo & C. Vergari, 2017. "Building a firm level dataset for the analysis of industrial dynamics and demography," Working Papers wp2003, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    12. Pierluigi Toma, 2020. "Size and productivity: a conditional approach for Italian pharmaceutical sector," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 1-12, August.
    13. Giovanni Dosi & Marco Grazzi & Le Li & Luigi Marengo & Simona Settepanella, 2019. "Aggregate Productivity Growth in the Presence of (Persistently) Heterogeneous Firms," LEM Papers Series 2019/26, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    14. Atushi Ishikawa & Shouji Fujimoto & Takayuki Mizuno, 2021. "Why does production function take the Cobb–Douglas form?," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 79-102, April.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • C67 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Input-Output Models
    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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