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The Impact of Vintage and Survival on Productivity: Evidence from Cohorts of U.S. Manufacturing Plants

  • J. Bradford Jensen
  • Robert H McGuckin
  • Kevin J Stiroh

This paper examines the evolution of productivity in U.S. manufacturing plants from 1963 to 1992. We define a “vintage effect” as the change in productivity of recent cohorts of new plants relative to earlier cohorts of new plants, and a “survival effect” as the change in productivity of a particular cohort of surviving plants as it ages. The data show that both factors contribute to industry productivity growth, but play offsetting roles in determining a cohort’s relative position in the productivity distribution. Recent cohorts enter with significantly higher productivity than earlier entrants did, while surviving cohorts show significant increases in productivity as they age. These two effects roughly offset each other, however, so there is a rough convergence in productivity across cohorts in 1992 and 1987. (JEL Code: D24, L6)

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 00-06.

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Date of creation: May 2000
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:00-06
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  1. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1994. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 94-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Mohamad L. Hammour, 1991. "The Cleansing Effect of Recessions," NBER Working Papers 3922, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Laura Power, 1998. "The Missing Link: Technology, Investment, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 300-313, May.
  5. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  6. Thomas F. Cooley & Jeremy Greenwood & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 1994. "The replacement problem," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 95, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  8. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. John C. Haltiwanger, 1997. "Measuring and analyzing aggregate fluctuations: the importance of building from microeconomic evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-78.
  10. Mark Doms & Eric J. Bartelsman, 2000. "Understanding Productivity: Lessons from Longitudinal Microdata," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(3), pages 569-594, September.
  11. Jensen, J Bradford & McGuckin, Robert H, 1997. "Firm Performance and Evolution: Empirical Regularities in the US Microdata," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 25-47.
  12. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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