IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cer/papers/wp607.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Knowledge Exchange and Productivity Spill-overs in Bangladeshi Garment Factories

Author

Listed:
  • Andreas Menzel

Abstract

Productivity spill-overs within firms have commonly been used as a proxy measure for organizational learning. Using novel data from more than 200 production lines in three garment factories in Bangladesh, this paper extends the evidence on such productivity spill-over in two directions. First, I find that spatial distance within firms matters greatly for the strengths of productivity spill-overs, while product complexity matters little. This has important implications for firms in rapidly developing countries such as Bangladesh, as spill-over strength seems less affected when firms upgrade to more complex products, but seems more affected if firms grow larger. Second, I provide evidence from a randomized communication intervention in the three factories to determine the extent to which productivity spill-overs are indeed a measure of knowledge exchange within firms, and not of other types of peer effects, such as competition. In the intervention, randomly selected line supervisors were instructed by their superiors to share production knowledge when their lines were allocated the same garment for production. The intervention increased the strength of the productivity spill-overs between the targeted production lines. It thus supports the view that productivity spill-overs can be used as a measure of knowledge exchange within firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Menzel, 2017. "Knowledge Exchange and Productivity Spill-overs in Bangladeshi Garment Factories," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp607, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  • Handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp607
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cerge-ei.cz/pdf/wp/Wp607.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Macchiavello, Rocco & Menzel, Andreas & Rabbani, Atonu & Woodruff, Christopher, 2015. "Challenges of Change: An Experiment Training Women to Manage in the Bangladeshi Garment Sector," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1100, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Sanghamitra Das & Kala Krishna & Sergey Lychagin & Rohini Somanathan, 2013. "Back on the Rails: Competition and Productivity in State-Owned Industry," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 136-162, January.
    3. Barton H. Hamilton & Jack A. Nickerson & Hideo Owan, 2003. "Team Incentives and Worker Heterogeneity: An Empirical Analysis of the Impact of Teams on Productivity and Participation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 465-497, June.
    4. DiNardo, John & Fortin, Nicole M & Lemieux, Thomas, 1996. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(5), pages 1001-1044, September.
    5. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Robert Kulick & Javier Miranda, 2016. "High Growth Young Firms: Contribution to Job, Output, and Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 11-62, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. David Atkin & Azam Chaudhry & Shamyla Chaudry & Amit K. Khandelwal & Eric Verhoogen, 2017. "Organizational Barriers to Technology Adoption: Evidence from Soccer-Ball Producers in Pakistan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1101-1164.
    7. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2005. "Social Preferences and the Response to Incentives: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 917-962.
    8. Oriana Bandiera & Imran Rasul, 2006. "Social Networks and Technology Adoption in Northern Mozambique," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(514), pages 869-902, October.
    9. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
    10. Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51.
    11. Foster, Andrew D & Rosenzweig, Mark R, 1995. "Learning by Doing and Learning from Others: Human Capital and Technical Change in Agriculture," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1176-1209, December.
    12. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Udry, 2010. "Learning about a New Technology: Pineapple in Ghana," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 35-69, March.
    13. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    14. Oriana Bandiera & Iwan Barankay & Imran Rasul, 2013. "Team Incentives: Evidence From A Firm Level Experiment," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(5), pages 1079-1114, October.
    15. Esther Duflo & Michael Greenstone & Nicholas Ryan, 2013. "Truth-telling by Third-party Auditors and the Response of Polluting Firms: Experimental Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(4), pages 1499-1545.
    16. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    17. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    18. Daniel S. Nagin & James B. Rebitzer & Seth Sanders & Lowell J. Taylor, 2002. "Monitoring, Motivation, and Management: The Determinants of Opportunistic Behavior in a Field Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 850-873, September.
    19. Munshi, Kaivan, 2004. "Social learning in a heterogeneous population: technology diffusion in the Indian Green Revolution," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 185-213, February.
    20. K. J. Arrow, 1971. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: F. H. Hahn (ed.), Readings in the Theory of Growth, chapter 11, pages 131-149, Palgrave Macmillan.
    21. Jing Cai & Alain De Janvry & Elisabeth Sadoulet, 2015. "Social Networks and the Decision to Insure," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 81-108, April.
    22. Rema Hanna & Sendhil Mullainathan & Joshua Schwartzstein, 2014. "Learning Through Noticing: Theory and Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1311-1353.
    23. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    24. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    25. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    26. Kato, Takao & Shu, Pian, 2011. "Competition, Group Identity, and Social Networks in the Workplace: Evidence from a Chinese Textile Firm," IZA Discussion Papers 6219, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    27. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
    28. Francesco Amodio & Miguel A Martinez-Carrasco, 2018. "Input Allocation, Workforce Management and Productivity Spillovers: Evidence from Personnel Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1937-1970.
    29. Guy David & Tanguy Brachet, 2011. "On the Determinants of Organizational Forgetting," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 100-123, August.
    30. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 643-681.
    31. Peter Thompson, 2007. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Forget?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 908-918, June.
    32. Bandiera, Oriana & Barankay, Iwan & Rasul, Imran, 2013. "Team incentives: evidence from a firm level," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 53141, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    33. Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Menzel, Andreas, 2021. "Knowledge exchange and productivity spill-overs in Bangladeshi garment factories," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 185(C), pages 721-746.
    2. Amodio, Francesco & Martinez-Carrasco, Miguel, 2020. "Workplace Incentives and Organizational Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 15498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Réka Juhász & Mara P. Squicciarini & Nico Voigtländer, 2020. "Technology Adoption and Productivity Growth: Evidence from Industrialization in France," NBER Working Papers 27503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Avdic, Daniel & Lundborg, Petter & Vikström, Johan, 2014. "Learning-by-Doing in a Highly Skilled Profession when Stakes are High: Evidence from Advanced Cancer Surgery," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2014:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 19, pages 1697-1767, Elsevier.
    6. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 643-681.
    7. Apurba Shee & Spiro E. Stefanou, 2016. "Bounded learning-by-doing and sources of firm level productivity growth in colombian food manufacturing industry," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 185-197, December.
    8. Shaw, Kathryn, 2009. "Insider econometrics: A roadmap with stops along the way," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 607-617, December.
    9. Sansi Yang & C. Richard Shumway, 2020. "Knowledge accumulation in US agriculture: research and learning by doing," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 54(2), pages 87-105, December.
    10. Thompson, Peter, 2010. "Learning by Doing," Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, in: Bronwyn H. Hall & Nathan Rosenberg (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Innovation, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 429-476, Elsevier.
    11. Hazhir Rahmandad & Nelson Repenning, 2016. "Capability erosion dynamics," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(4), pages 649-672, April.
    12. Anelí Bongers, 2017. "Learning and forgetting in the jet fighter aircraft industry," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 12(9), pages 1-19, September.
    13. Tat Y. Chan & Jia Li & Lamar Pierce, 2014. "Learning from Peers: Knowledge Transfer and Sales Force Productivity Growth," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(4), pages 463-484, July.
    14. Bonan, Jacopo & Battiston, Pietro & Bleck, Jaimie & LeMay-Boucher, Philippe & Pareglio, Stefano & Sarr, Bassirou & Tavoni, Massimo, 2021. "Social interaction and technology adoption: Experimental evidence from improved cookstoves in Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    15. Jason J Sandvik & Richard E Saouma & Nathan T Seegert & Christopher T Stanton, 2020. "Workplace Knowledge Flows," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 135(3), pages 1635-1680.
    16. Cardella, Eric & Depew, Briggs, 2016. "Testing for the Ratchet Effect: Evidence from a Real-Effort Work Task," IZA Discussion Papers 9981, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Carolyn D. Egelman & Dennis Epple & Linda Argote & Erica R.H. Fuchs, 2013. "Learning by Doing in a Multi-Product Manufacturing Environment: Product Variety, Customizations, and Overlapping Product Generations," NBER Working Papers 19674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. De Paola, Maria & Gioia, Francesca & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2019. "Free-riding and knowledge spillovers in teams: The role of social ties," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 112(C), pages 74-90.
    19. Gosnell, Greer & Metcalfe, Robert & List, John A, 2016. "A new approach to an age-old problem: solving externalities by incenting workers directly," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 84331, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    20. Steven Levitt & John List & Chad Syverson, 2012. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Plant," Natural Field Experiments 00463, The Field Experiments Website.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    learning; productivity; firms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cer:papers:wp607. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/eiacacz.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Lucie Vasiljevova (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/eiacacz.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.