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Localized Competition and the Aggregation of Plant Level Increasing Returns: Blast Furnaces 1929-1935

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  • Bertin, A.L.
  • Bresnahan, T.F.
  • Raff, D.M.G.

Abstract

A recent empirical literature has shaken economists' confidence in the value of aggregate (industry-level) data to illuminate production relationships. But the statistical finding 'you can't aggregate,' however well documented, is not an economic explanation. Plant-level relationships do aggregate in Depression-era blast furnace operations despite the presence of very substantial interplant heterogeneity, the most common economic cause of nonaggregability. The economic explanation of this lies in poor short-run substitutability of one plant's output for another's. Substitutability determines the importance of composition effects in understanding aggregate time series, constrains the potential cleansing effects of recessions, and therefore influences industry evolution quite broadly. Copyright 1996 by University of Chicago Press.
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  • Bertin, A.L. & Bresnahan, T.F. & Raff, D.M.G., 1993. "Localized Competition and the Aggregation of Plant Level Increasing Returns: Blast Furnaces 1929-1935," Papers 93-10a, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  • Handle: RePEc:fth:colubu:93-10a
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Guimarães Barbosa, Evaldo, 2016. "External determinants of small business survival – The overwhelming impact of GDP and other environmental factors and a new proposed framework," MPRA Paper 73346, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2015. "Financial shocks, bankruptcy, and natural selection," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 123-135.
    3. Uchida, Hirofumi & Miyakawa, Daisuke & Hosono, Kaoru & Ono, Arito & Uchino, Taisuke & Uesugi, Iichiro, 2013. "Natural Disaster and Natural Selection," Working Paper Series 25, Center for Interfirm Network, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    4. Maliranta, Mika, 2001. "Productivity Growth and Micro-level Restructuring. Finnish experiences during the turbulent decades," Discussion Papers 757, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. Nicolas L. Ziebarth, 2013. "Identifying the Effects of Bank Failures from a Natural Experiment in Mississippi during the Great Depression," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 81-101, January.
    6. Chicu, Mark & Vickers, Chris & Ziebarth, Nicolas L., 2013. "Cementing the case for collusion under the National Recovery Administration," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 487-507.
    7. Tsuyoshi Nakamura & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2008. "EFFECTS OF TECHNOLOGY ADOPTION ON PRODUCTIVITY AND INDUSTRY GROWTH: A STUDY OF STEEL REFINING FURNACES -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(3), pages 470-499, September.
    8. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:4:p:677-701 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Yi-Chen Lin & Tai-Hsin Huang, 2012. "Creative destruction over the business cycle: a stochastic frontier analysis," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 38(3), pages 285-302, December.
    10. Hiroshi Ohashi & Tsuyoshi Nakamura, 2005. "Technology Adoption, Learning by Doing, and Productivity: A Study from Steel Refining Furnaces," 2005 Meeting Papers 28, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Barlevy, Gadi, 2003. "Credit market frictions and the allocation of resources over the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1795-1818, November.
    12. Tsuyoshi Nakamura & Hiroshi Ohashi, 2005. "Technology Adoption, Learning by Doing, and Productivity: A Study of Steel Refining Furnaces," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-368, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    13. J. Beaulieu & Joe Mattey, 1998. "The Workweek of Capital and Capital Utilization in Manufacturing," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 199-223, October.

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    Keywords

    productivity ; economic history;

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