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Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant

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Listed:
  • Steven D. Levitt
  • John A. List
  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

Productivity improvements within establishments (e.g., factories, mines, or retail stores) are an important source of aggregate productivity growth. Past research has documented that learning by doing-productivity improvements that occur in concert with production increases-is one source of such improvements. Yet little is known about the specific mechanisms through which such learning occurs. We address this question using extremely detailed data from an assembly plant of a major auto producer. Beyond showing that there is rapid learning by doing at the plant, we are able to pinpoint the processes by which these improvements have occurred.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2012. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," NBER Working Papers 18017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18017
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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