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

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Abstract

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. International Economic Review, forthcoming.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeremy Greenwood & David Weiss, 2013. "Mining Surplus: Modeling James A. Schmitz's Link Between Competition and Productivity," Economie d'Avant Garde Research Reports 22, Economie d'Avant Garde.
  • Handle: RePEc:eag:rereps:22
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    1. Karen A. Kopecky, 2011. "The Trend In Retirement," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(2), pages 287-316, May.
    2. Thomas J. Holmes & David K. Levine & James A. Schmitz, 2012. "Monopoly and the Incentive to Innovate When Adoption Involves Switchover Disruptions," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(3), pages 1-33, August.
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    5. Edward E. Leamer, 1999. "Effort, Wages, and the International Division of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1127-1162, December.
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    10. Emin Dinlersoz & Jeremy Greenwood & Henry Hyatt, 2017. "What Businesses Attract Unions? Unionization over the Life Cycle of U.S. Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 70(3), pages 733-766, May.
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    13. 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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    Keywords

    Bodies; effort; James A. Schmitz; iron ore; membership; monopoly profits; Nash bargaining; productivity; unions;

    JEL classification:

    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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