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Learning by Doing and Aggregate Fluctuations

  • Russell Cooper
  • Alok Johri

A major unresolved issue in business cycle theory is the construction of an endogenous propagation mechanism capable of capturing the amount of persistence displayed in the data. In this paper we explore the quantitative implications of one propagation mechanism: learning by doing. Estimation of the parameters characterizing learning by doing is based both on aggregate 2-digit data and plant level observations in the US. The estimated learning by doing function is then integrated into a stochastic growth model in which fluctuations are driven by technology shocks. We conclude that learning by doing can be a powerful mechanism for generating endogenous persistence.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6898.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6898.

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Date of creation: Jan 1999
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Publication status: published as Cooper, Russell and Alok Johri. "Learning-By-Doing And Aggregate Fluctuations," Journal of Monetary Economics, 2002, v49(8,Nov), 1539-1566.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6898
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  1. Burnside, Craig & Eichenbaum, Martin & Rebelo, Sergio, 1993. "Labor Hoarding and the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 245-73, April.
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  13. Basu, S. & Fernald, J.G., 1993. "Are Apparent Productive Spillovers a Figment of Specification Error," Papers 93-22, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  14. Susumu Imai & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "Intertemporal Labor Supply and Human Capital Accumulation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 601-641, 05.
  15. Katz, Lawrence F & Meyer, Bruce D, 1990. "Unemployment Insurance, Recall Expectations, and Unemployment Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(4), pages 973-1002, November.
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  17. Bahk, Byong-Hong & Gort, Michael, 1993. "Decomposing Learning by Doing in New Plants," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 561-83, August.
  18. Basu, S., 1993. "Procyclical Productivity: Overhead Inputs or Cyclical Utilization," Papers 93-25, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
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