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Estimates of the Returns to Scale for US Manufacturing

  • Altug, Sumru G.
  • Filiztekin, Alpay

This paper estimates the degree of the returns to scale for 2-digit U.S. manufacturing industries from the output-based primal and price-based dual equations implied by firms' cost-minimization problems. It seeks to reconcile the cyclical behavior of the primal and dual productivity residuals by allowing for nonconstant returns to scale and imperfect competition. We find significant differences between the estimates of the returns to scale parameter derived from the primal versus the dual equations. The existence of time-varying markups reduces the incidence of significant differences in the primal versus dual returns to scale estimates for the durable goods industries but not for the non-durable goods industries. Likewise, the presence of the quasi-fixity of capital helps to reconcile the behavior of the primal and dual productivity residuals for the durable but not for the non-durable goods industries.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2121.

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Date of creation: Apr 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2121
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  1. Morrison, C J, 1994. "The Cyclical Nature of Markups in Canadian Manufacturing: A Production Theory Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(3), pages 269-82, July-Sept.
  2. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," NBER Working Papers 5125, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Perli, Roberto, 1998. "Indeterminacy, home production, and the business cycle: A calibrated analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 105-125, February.
  6. repec:fth:harver:1487 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Domowitz, Ian & Hubbard, R Glenn & Petersen, Bruce C, 1988. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(1), pages 55-66, February.
  8. Roeger, Werner, 1995. "Can Imperfect Competition Explain the Difference between Primal and Dual Productivity Measures? Estimates for U.S. Manufacturing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 316-30, April.
  9. Carlton, Dennis W., 1989. "The theory and the facts of how markets clear: Is industrial organization valuable for understanding macroeconomics?," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 909-946 Elsevier.
  10. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Aggregate productivity and the productivity of aggregates," International Finance Discussion Papers 532, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  12. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error?," NBER Working Papers 5073, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Roger E.A. Farmer & Jang Ting Guo, 1992. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," UCLA Economics Working Papers 680, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe, 1995. "Comparing four models of aggregate fluctuations due to self-fulfilling expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  16. Catherine J. Morrison, 1989. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the U.S., Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markup," NBER Working Papers 2993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Julio J. Rotemberg & Lawrence H. Summers, 1990. "Inflexible Prices and Procyclical Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 851-874.
  18. Matthew D. Shapiro, 1987. "Are Cyclical Fluctuations in Productivity Due More to Supply Shocks or Demand Shocks?," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 822, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  19. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
  20. Chirinko, R S & Fazzari, S, 1994. "Economic Fluctuations, Market Power, and Returns to Scale: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(1), pages 47-69, Jan.-Marc.
  21. Marzio Galeotti & Fabio Schiantarelli, 1991. "Variable Markups in a Model with Adjustment Costs: Econometric Evidence for U.S. Industry," Papers 0016, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  22. Hulten, Charles R., 1986. "Productivity change, capacity utilization, and the sources of efficiency growth," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1-2), pages 31-50.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1993. "Dynamic General Equilibrium Models with Imperfectly Competitive Product Markets," NBER Working Papers 4502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Chirinko, Robert S., 1995. "Nonconvexities, labor hoarding, technology shocks, and procyclical productivity a structural econometric analysis," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1-2), pages 61-98.
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