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Investment in Capital Assets and Economic Performance: The U.S. Chemicals and Primary Metals Industries in Transition

  • Catherine J. Morrison

The effects of market and technological conditions on the investment and markup behavior of firms, and their resulting impacts on economic performance, are closely interrelated and complex. In this paper determinants of and linkages among these are explored for two industries with very different performance records and development patterns over the past three decades -the chemicals and primary metals industries. The analysis is carried out using a production theory model that permits explicit assessment of the motivations underlying firm decisions, based on BLS data from 1955-86. General capital (K) investments are distinguished from investments in innovative or high tech capital such as office and communications equipment (0) and technical and scientific apparatus (S). Investment behavior and thus capacity utilization are explicitly modeled as responses to adjustment costs for capital assets. This approach facilitates the measurement of technological and behavioral factors underlying investment, input demand and pricing decisions. This in turn allows investment patterns and their determinants across capital assets to be interpreted, and their linkages with productive and financial performance to be identified.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3828.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3828.

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Date of creation: Sep 1991
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Publication status: published as Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Vol. 11, no. 1 (January 1993): 45-60.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3828
Note: PR
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  1. Morrison, Catherine J, 1988. "Quasi-Fixed Inputs in U.S. and Japanese Manufacturing: A Generalized Leontief Restricted Cost Function Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 275-87, May.
  2. Hall, Robert E, 1988. "The Relation between Price and Marginal Cost in U.S. Industry," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 921-47, October.
  3. Catherine J. Morrison, 1989. "Unraveling the Productivity Growth Slowdown in the U.S., Canada and Japan: The Effects of Subequilibrium, Scale Economies and Markup," NBER Working Papers 2993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
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