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Patterns of plant adjustment

  • Plutarchos Sakellaris

This paper provides a description of the dynamic choices of manufacturing plants when they undertake rapid adjustment in output. The focus is on episodes that involve lumpy adjustment in capital or employment. I examine the behavior of variables such as capital utilization, hours per worker, overtime use, capacity utilization, materials and energy use. Finally I describe the observed patterns of productivity during those adjustment episodes and propose some hypotheses that seem to fit them. The costs associated with output adjustment seem to arise from building and destroying a particular organization of the structure of production and associated worker experience. As such they are related to learning-by-doing and investment in specific training.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2001-05.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-05
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  1. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Huggett, Mark & Ospina, Sandra, 2001. "Does productivity growth fall after the adoption of new technology?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 173-195, August.
  3. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Caballero, R.J., 1994. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: Generalized (S,s) Approach," Working papers 94-32, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Boyan Jovanovic & Yaw Nyarko, 1994. "Learning By Doing and the Choice of Technology," NBER Working Papers 4739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mark Bils & Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Cyclical factor utilization," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F & Ramey, Valerie A, 1994. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624, August.
  8. Martin Neil Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 2001. "Labor Productivity: Structural Change And Cyclical Dynamics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(3), pages 420-433, August.
  9. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2006. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 611-633.
  10. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1989. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 674-89, September.
  11. 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).
  12. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Laura Power, 1998. "The Missing Link: Technology, Investment, And Productivity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(2), pages 300-313, May.
  14. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
  15. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andrew B. Abel & Janice C. Eberly, 1997. "The Mix and Scale of Factors with Irreversibility and Fixed Costs of Investment," NBER Working Papers 6148, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Vintage organization capital," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
  18. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-83, April.
  19. Joe Mattey & Steve Strongin, 1995. "Factor utilization and margins for adjusting output: evidence from manufacturing plants," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 95-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Rosen, Sherwin, 1972. "Learning by Experience as Joint Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 366-82, August.
  22. Carol Corrado & Joe Mattey, 1997. "Capacity Utilization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-167, Winter.
  23. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
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