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Measuring the Impact of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership


  • Ron Jarmin


In this paper, I measure the impact of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) on productivity and sales growth at manufacturing plants. To do this, I match MEP client data to the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Research Database (LRD). The LRD contains data for all manufacturing establishments in the U.S. and provides a number of measures of plant performance and characteristics that are measured consistently across plants and time. This facilitates valid comparisons between both client and non-client plants and among clients served by different MEP centers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) administers the MEP as part of their effort to improve the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing. The program provides business and technical assistance to small and medium sized manufacturers much as agricultural extension does for farmers. The goal of the paper is to see if measures of plant performance (e.g., productivity and sales growth) are systematically related to participation in the MEP, while controlling for other factors that are known or thought to influence performance. Selection bias is often a problem in evaluation studies so I specify an econometric model that controls for selection. I estimate the model with data from 8 manufacturing extension centers in 2 states. The control group includes all plants from each state in the LRD. Preliminary results indicate that MEP participation is systematically related to productivity growth but not to sales growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Jarmin, 1996. "Measuring the Impact of the Manufacturing Extension Partnership," Working Papers 96-8, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:96-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    2. Birkhaeuser, Dean & Evenson, Robert E & Feder, Gershon, 1991. "The Economic Impact of Agricultural Extension: A Review," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(3), pages 607-650, April.
    3. Martin, S. A., 1994. "Effectiveness of State Technology Incentives (The): Evidence from the Machine Tool Industry," Staff General Research Papers Archive 703, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    4. Lung-Fei Lee, 1982. "Some Approaches to the Correction of Selectivity Bias," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(3), pages 355-372.
    5. Ron Jarmin, 1995. "Using Matched Client And Census Data To Evaluate The Performance Of The Manufacturing Extension Partnership," Working Papers 95-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. James J. Heckman & V. Joseph Hotz & Marcelo Dabos, 1987. "Do We Need Experimental Data To Evaluate the Impact of Manpower Training On Earnings?," Evaluation Review, , vol. 11(4), pages 395-427, August.
    7. Irwin Feller, 1993. "What agricultural extension has to offer as a model for manufacturing modernization," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(3), pages 574-581.
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    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;


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