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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
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-05
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  1. 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.
  2. Prescott, Edward C & Visscher, Michael, 1980. "Organization Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 446-461, June.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 249-283, April.
  5. 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.
  6. Russell W. Cooper & John C. Haltiwanger, 2000. "On the Nature of Capital Adjustment Costs," NBER Working Papers 7925, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sérgio, 1995. "Capital Utilization and Returns to Scale," CEPR Discussion Papers 1221, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
  9. Susanto Basu & Miles S. Kimball, 1997. "Cyclical Productivity with Unobserved Input Variation," NBER Working Papers 5915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.).
  11. Carol Corrado & Joe Mattey, 1997. "Capacity Utilization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 151-167, Winter.
  12. John Haltiwanger & Russell Cooper & Laura Power, 1999. "Machine Replacement and the Business Cycle: Lumps and Bumps," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(4), pages 921-946, September.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Valerie A. Ramey, 1992. "Output Fluctuations at the Plant Level," NBER Working Papers 4105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Vintage organization capital," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
  17. Jovanovic, B. & Nyarko, Y., 1996. "Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology," Working Papers 96-25, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  18. Mark Bils & Jang-Ok Cho, 1993. "Cyclical factor utilization," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 79, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning by Experience as Joint Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 366-382.
  22. 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.).
  23. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  24. D. W. Jorgenson & Z. Griliches, 1967. "The Explanation of Productivity Change," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 34(3), pages 249-283.
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