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Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry

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  • Allan Collard-Wexler
  • Jan De Loecker

Abstract

We measure the impact of a drastic new technology for producing steel - the minimill - on the aggregate productivity of U.S. steel producers, using unique plant-level data between 1963 and 2002. We find that the sharp increase in the industry's productivity is linked to this new technology, and operates through two distinct mechanisms. First, minimills displaced the older technology, called vertically integrated production, and this reallocation of output was responsible for a third of the increase in the industry's productivity. Second, increased competition, due to the expansion of minimills, drove a substantial reallocation process within the group of vertically integrated producers, driving a resurgence in their productivity, and consequently of the industry's productivity as a whole.

Suggested Citation

  • Allan Collard-Wexler & Jan De Loecker, 2013. "Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry," NBER Working Papers 18739, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18739
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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