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Learning-by-Doing and Productivity Dynamics in Manufacturing Industries

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  • Andrew Clarke

Abstract

This paper estimates a structural model of learning-by-doing. Treating production experience as a state variable, this paper provides estimates of the structural parameters obtained from the first order conditions arising from the plant’s maximization problem. Estimates are provided using data on 4-digit manufacturing industries and plant-level observations. Using aggregate industry data, the results indicate that estimated learning rates might be considerably lower than previous estimates. The results also reveal considerable variation in estimated learning rates, across broad industry groups, at both the plant-level and the 4-digit industry level. This implies that using results from existing studies that focus upon specific, narrowly defined industries or firms, may lead to misleading conclusions concerning the widespread importance of learning-by-doing for generating productivity dynamics within the manufacturing industry

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Clarke, 2008. "Learning-by-Doing and Productivity Dynamics in Manufacturing Industries," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1032, The University of Melbourne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1032
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    File URL: http://fbe.unimelb.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/802723/1032.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eric J. Bartelsman & Wayne Gray, 1996. "The NBER Manufacturing Productivity Database," NBER Technical Working Papers 0205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 1988. "Testing for individual effects in autoregressive models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 297-307, November.
    3. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-583, August.
    4. Pankaj Ghemawat & A. Michael Spence, 1985. "Learning Curve Spillovers and Market Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(Supplemen), pages 839-852.
    5. Klette, Tor Jakob & Griliches, Zvi, 1996. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Endogenous," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 343-361, July-Aug..
    6. Sherwin Rosen, 1972. "Learning by Experience as Joint Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 86(3), pages 366-382.
    7. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    8. Cooper, Russell & Johri, Alok, 2002. "Learning-by-doing and aggregate fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 1539-1566, November.
    9. Peter Thompson, 2001. "How Much Did the Liberty Shipbuilders Learn? New Evidence for an Old Case Study," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(1), pages 103-137, February.
    10. Rebecca Achee Thornton & Peter Thompson, 2001. "Learning from Experience and Learning from Others: An Exploration of Learning and Spillovers in Wartime Shipbuilding," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1350-1368, December.
    11. Clarke, Andrew J., 2006. "Learning-by-doing and aggregate fluctuations: Does the form of the accumulation technology matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 434-439, September.
    12. Donald W. K. Andrews, 1999. "Consistent Moment Selection Procedures for Generalized Method of Moments Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(3), pages 543-564, May.
    13. Eric D. Darr & Linda Argote & Dennis Epple, 1995. "The Acquisition, Transfer, and Depreciation of Knowledge in Service Organizations: Productivity in Franchises," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 41(11), pages 1750-1762, November.
    14. Ronald S. Jarmin, 1994. "Learning by Doing and Competition in the Early Rayon Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(3), pages 441-454, Autumn.
    15. C. Lanier Benkard, 2000. "Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 1034-1054, September.
    16. Zulehner, Christine, 2003. "Testing dynamic oligopolistic interaction: evidence from the semiconductor industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1527-1556, December.
    17. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
    18. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2006. "Plant turnover and productivity growth in Canadian manufacturing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 417-465, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ruy Lama & Juan Pablo Medina, 2012. "Is Exchange Rate Stabilization an Appropriate Cure for the Dutch Disease?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 8(1), pages 5-46, March.
    2. Clarke, Andrew J. & Johri, Alok, 2009. "Procyclical Solow Residuals Without Technology Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(03), pages 366-389, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Production Experience; Learning-by-Doing; Structural Estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General

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