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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. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1996. "Returns to scale in U.S. production: estimates and implications," International Finance Discussion Papers 546, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Rotemberg, Julio J & Summers, Lawrence H, 1990. "Inflexible Prices and Procyclical Productivity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 851-74, November.
  3. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1995. "Aggregate Productivity and the Productivity of Aggregates," NBER Working Papers 5382, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Burnside, C & Eichenbaum, M & Rebelo, S, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," RCER Working Papers 402, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  5. 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.
  6. Catherine J. Morrison, 1985. "Productivity Measurement with Nonstatic Expectations and Varying Capacity Utilization: An Integrated Approach," NBER Working Papers 1561, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Dennis W. Carlton, 1987. "The Theory and the Facts of How Markets Clear: Is Industrial Organization Valuable for Understanding Macroeconomics?," NBER Working Papers 2178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie, 1997. "Comparing Four Models of Aggregate Fluctuations due to Self-Fulfilling Expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 96-147, January.
  13. Galeotti, Marzion & Schiantarelli, Fabio, 1991. "Variable Markups in a Model with Adjustment Costs: Econometric Evidence for U.S. Industry," Working Papers 91-44, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Susanto Basu & John G. Fernald, 1994. "Are apparent productive spillovers a figment of specification error?," International Finance Discussion Papers 463, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Market Structure and Cyclical Fluctuations in U.S. Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 2115, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Edward C. Prescott, 1986. "Theory ahead of business cycle measurement," Staff Report 102, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 1990. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 3556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. repec:fth:harver:1487 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. Burnside, Craig, 1996. "Production function regressions, returns to scale, and externalities," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 177-201, April.
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