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Mining Surplus: Modeling James A. Schmitz's Link Between Competition and Productivity

James A. Schmitz (2005) documents, in a well-known case study, a dramatic rise in productivity in the U.S. and Canadian iron-ore industry following an increase in competition from Brazil. Prior to the increased competition, the industry was not competitive. Surplus in profits was divided between business and unions. Schmitz attributes the increase in productivity to a change in work practices in the industry, as old negotiated union work rules were abandoned or modified. This research formalizes a mechanism through which a rise in competition can lead to increased productivity in the iron-ore industry.

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Paper provided by Economie d'Avant Garde in its series Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports with number 22.

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Date of creation: Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:22
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  1. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2014. "Who Do Unions Target? Unionization Over The Life-Cycle Of U.S. Businesses," Working Papers 14-09r, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Jun 2014.
  2. Thomas J. Holmes & James A. Schmitz, 2010. "Competition and productivity: a review of evidence," Staff Report 439, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian, 2004. "New Deal Policies and the Persistence of the Great Depression: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 779-816, August.
  4. James A. Schmitz Jr., 2005. "What Determines Productivity? Lessons from the Dramatic Recovery of the U.S. and Canadian Iron Ore Industries Following Their Early 1980s Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(3), pages 582-625, June.
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