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On the Economic Interpretation and Measurement of Optimal Capacity Utilization with Anticipatory Expectations

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  • Catherine J. Morrison

Abstract

This study builds on recent research giving the notion of capacity utilization clearer economic foundations. In this research optimal output Y* is defined as the minimum point on the firm's short-run average total cost curve, and capacity utilization is then computed as CU=Y/Y*, where Y is actual output. Here I extend these concepts to include adjustment costs due to changes in the stock of capital, and nonstatic expectations of future output demand and input prices. The more general notion of CU is shown to depend on the shadow values of the firm's quasifixed inputs, and is decomposed to isolate the effects of anticipatory expectations. An empirical comparison is then made between traditional indices and alternative economic CU measures, using annual U.S. manufacturing data 1954-80. The calculated indices exhibit plausible patterns, which can be interpreted as the effects of nonstatic expectations and adjustment costs.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine J. Morrison, 1985. "On the Economic Interpretation and Measurement of Optimal Capacity Utilization with Anticipatory Expectations," NBER Working Papers 1536, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1536
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    1. Morrison, C. J. & Berndt, E. R., 1981. "Short-run labor productivity in a dynamic model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 339-365, August.
    2. Lau, Lawrence J., 1976. "A characterization of the normalized restricted profit function," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 131-163, February.
    3. J. M. Cassels, 1937. "Excess Capacity and Monopolistic Competition," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 426-443.
    4. Robert E. Lucas & Jr., 1967. "Adjustment Costs and the Theory of Supply," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 321-321.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hervé Guyomard & Dominique Vermersch, 1988. "Derivation of long run factor demands from short run responses," Working Papers hal-01594271, HAL.
    2. M. Ishaq Nadiri & Ingmar Prucha, 2001. "Dynamic Factor Demand Models and Productivity Analysis," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 103-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Catherine J. Morrison, 1990. "Market Power, Economic Profitability and Productivity Growth Measurement: An Integrated Structural Approach," NBER Working Papers 3355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michalis Nikiforos, 2012. "On the Utilization Controversy: A Theoretical and Empirical Discussion of the Kaleckian Model of Growth and Distribution," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_739, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. H. Kim, 1999. "Economic Capacity Utilization and its Determinants: Theory and Evidence," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 15(4), pages 321-339, December.
    6. Supawat Rungsuriyawiboon, 2004. "An Analysis of Cost Structures in the Electricity Generation Industry," CEPA Working Papers Series WP052004, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    7. James Kirkley & Catherine Morrison Paul & Dale Squires, 2002. "Capacity and Capacity Utilization in Common-pool Resource Industries," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 22(1), pages 71-97, June.
    8. Llorca, Manuel & Orea, Luis & Pollitt, Michael G., 2016. "Efficiency and environmental factors in the US electricity transmission industry," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 234-246.
    9. Alston, Julian M. & Andersen, Matthew A. & Pardey, Philip G., 2006. "Asset Utilization and Bias in Measures of U.S. Agricultural Productivity," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21220, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    10. Guyomard, Herve & Vermersch, Dominique, 1989. "Derivation of Long-run Factor Demands from Short-run Responses," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 3(3), October.
    11. Ingmar R. Prucha & M. Ishaq Nadiri, 1991. "Endogenous Capital Utilization and Productivity Measurement in Dynamic Factor Demand Models: Theory and an Application to the U.S. Electrical..," NBER Working Papers 3680, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Sarbapriya, Ray & Mihir, Kumar Pal, 2011. "An Application of Economic Capacity Utilization to the Measurement of Total Factor Productivity Growth: Empirical Evidence from Indian Fertilizer Industry," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(1), pages 125-142, March.
    13. Prucha, Ingmar R. & Nadiri, M. Ishaq, 1996. "Endogenous capital utilization and productivity measurement in dynamic factor demand models Theory and an application to the U.S. electrical machinery industry," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1-2), pages 343-379.
    14. Matthew Andersen & Julian Alston & Philip Pardey, 2012. "Capital use intensity and productivity biases," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 59-71, February.
    15. repec:cuf:journl:y:2017:v:18:i:1:liu is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Marini, Giovanni & Pannone, Andrea, 2007. "Capital and capacity utilization revisited: A theory for ICT-assisted production systems," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 231-248, June.
    17. Lee, Jong-Kun, 1995. "Comparative performance of short-run capacity utilization measures," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 48(3-4), pages 293-300, June.
    18. Felthoven, Ronald G., 2000. "Measuring Fishing Capacity: An Application To In North Pacific Groundfish Fisheries," 2000 Annual meeting, July 30-August 2, Tampa, FL 21815, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    19. Zvi Griliches, 1991. "Hedonic Price Indexes and the Measurement of Capital and Productivity: Some Historical Reflections," NBER Chapters,in: Fifty Years of Economic Measurement: The Jubilee of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth, pages 185-206 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Berndt, Ernst R. & Fuss, Melvyn A., 1989. "Economic capacity utilization and productivity measurement for multiproduct firms with multiple quasi-fixed inputs," Working papers 3001-89., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    21. Georganta, Zoe, 1997. "The effect of a free market price mechanism on total factor productivity: The case of the agricultural crop industry in Greece," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 55-71, October.

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