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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. Mark Bils & Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Cyclical factor utilization," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel, 1996. "Explaining Investment Dynamics in U.S. Manufacturing: A Generalized (S,s) Approach," Documentos de Trabajo 12, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
  3. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-61, June.
  4. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Martin N. Baily & Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Labor productivity: structural change and cyclical dynamics," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-10, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Pfann, Gerard Antonie, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," CEPR Discussion Papers 1371, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2001. "Vintage Organization Capital," NBER Working Papers 8166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Abel, Andrew B. & Eberly, Janice C., 1998. "The mix and scale of factors with irreversibility and fixed costs of investment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 101-135, June.
  9. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1988. "Labor Demand and the Structure of Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 2572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
  11. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2000. "Accounting for Growth," RCER Working Papers 475, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
    • 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.
  12. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Russell Cooper & John Haltiwanger & Laura Power, 1995. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," Papers 0062, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2000. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 7925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 593-624.
  18. Joe P. Mattey & Steven 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.).
  19. Boyan Jovanovic & Yaw Nyarko, 1994. "Learning By Doing and the Choice of Technology," NBER Working Papers 4739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning by Experience as Joint Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 366-382.
  21. Carol Corrado & Joe Mattey, 1997. "Capacity Utilization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-167, Winter.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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