Learning by Drilling: Inter-Firm Learning and Relationship Persistence in the Texas Oilpatch
This paper examines the importance of learning-by-doing that is specific not just to individual firms, but to pairs of firms working together in a contracting relationship. Using new, detailed data from the oil and gas industry, I find that the joint productivity of an oil production company and its drilling contractor is enhanced significantly as they accumulate experience working together. This learning is relationship-specific: drilling rigs generally cannot fully appropriate the productivity gains acquired through experience with one production company to their work for another. This result is robust to other ex ante match specificities. Relationship-specific learning is consequential because it implies that relationship stability is important to productivity. When two firms accumulate experience working together, relationship-specific intellectual capital is created that cannot be appropriated to pairings with other firms. If the relationship is broken, this capital is destroyed and productivity decreases, thereby giving firms an incentive to maintain long-term relationships. Accordingly, the data indicate that production companies prefer to work with drilling rigs which they have accumulated considerable experience rather than those with which they have worked relatively little. I demonstrate that this contracting pattern is difficult to explain with switching costs or ex ante match specificities alone.
|Date of creation:||Jun 2009|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Ryan Kellogg, 2011. "Learning by Drilling: Interfirm Learning and Relationship Persistence in the Texas Oilpatch," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1961-2004.|
|Note:||EEE IO PR|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- A. M. Spence, 1981. "The Learning Curve and Competition," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(1), pages 49-70, Spring.
- 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.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1999. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics Inside Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(4), pages 1321-1358.
- Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
- Jovanovic, Boyan & Nyarko, Yaw, 1996.
"Learning by Doing and the Choice of Technology,"
Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1299-1310, November.
- 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.
- Boyan Jovanovic & Yaw Nyarko, 1994. "Learning By Doing and the Choice of Technology," NBER Working Papers 4739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hendricks, Kenneth & Porter, Robert H, 1988. "An Empirical Study of an Auction with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 865-83, December.
- Wiggins, Steven N & Libecap, Gary D, 1985. "Oil Field Unitization: Contractual Failure in the Presence of Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(3), pages 368-85, June.
- Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-34, November.
- Canice Prendergast, 1993. "The Role of Promotion in Inducing Specific Human Capital Acquisition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(2), pages 523-534.
- C. Lanier Benkard, 2004. "A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 581-611.
- Linda Argote & Sara L. Beckman & Dennis Epple, 1990. "The Persistence and Transfer of Learning in Industrial Settings," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(2), pages 140-154, February.
- Irwin, Douglas A & Klenow, Peter J, 1994. "Learning-by-Doing Spillovers in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1200-1227, December.
- Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
- Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 2004. "Task-Specific Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 203-207, May.
- Stokey, Nancy L, 1988.
"Learning by Doing and the Introduction of New Goods,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(4), pages 701-17, August.
- Nancy L Stokey, 1986. "Learning-by-Doing and the Introduction of New Goods," Discussion Papers 699, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science, revised May 1987.
- Kenneth S. Corts, 2004. "The Effect of Repeated Interaction on Contract Choice: Evidence from Offshore Drilling," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(1), pages 230-260, April.
- Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2003. "Cluster-Sample Methods in Applied Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 133-138, May.
- Robert S. Huckman & Gary P. Pisano, 2006. "The Firm Specificity of Individual Performance: Evidence from Cardiac Surgery," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(4), pages 473-488, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15060. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.