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Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?: The U.S. Textile and Apparel Industries since 1972

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  • Jim Levinsohn
  • Wendy Petropoulos

Abstract

Are the U.S. textile and apparel industries examples of creative destruction or are they just plain destructing? We investigate this question using both aggregate industry-level data and plant-level data from the U.S. Census' LRD. We find that while the aggregate-level evidence is consistent with the common view of these industries as examples of declining industries, the plant-level data support a very different and much more hopeful view. We find that in the face of intensified international competition, each industry has evolved in its own way. In textiles, there has been tremendous capitalization. In apparel, the organization of production has changed. In both cases, industry productivity has increased markedly, and this is mostly because individual plants are becoming more productive.

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  • Jim Levinsohn & Wendy Petropoulos, 2001. "Creative Destruction or Just Plain Destruction?: The U.S. Textile and Apparel Industries since 1972," NBER Working Papers 8348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8348
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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    2. Robinson, Peter M, 1988. "Root- N-Consistent Semiparametric Regression," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(4), pages 931-954, July.
    3. Baldwin, John R., 1999. "A Portrait of Entrants and Exits," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1999121e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    4. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 1999. "When Industries Become More Productive, Do Firms?," NBER Working Papers 6893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    7. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    8. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hsieh Hsih-chia & Hsieh Pei-gin, 2004. "A Generalized Theory of Monetary and Macroeconomics," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 50, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
    2. Mikhail Kouliavtsev & Susan Christoffersen & Philip Russel, 2007. "Productivity, Scale and Efficiency in the U.S. Textile Industry," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 1-18, April.
    3. Alla Lileeva, 2008. "Trade liberalization and productivity dynamics: evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 41(2), pages 360-390, May.
    4. repec:ilo:ilowps:374452 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Chad P. Bown & Meredith A. Crowley & Rachel McCulloch & Daisuke J. Nakajima, 2005. "The U.S. trade deficit: made in China?," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q IV, pages 2-18.
    6. Meenu Tewari, 2005. "The Role of Price and Cost Competitiveness in Apparel Exports, Post-MFA: A Review," Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi Working Papers 173, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, New Delhi, India.
    7. Marion Jansen & Alessandro Turrini, 2004. "Job Creation, Job Destruction, and the International Division of Labor," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 476-494, August.
    8. David Greenaway & Joakim Gullstrand & Richard Kneller, 2009. "Live or Let Die? Alternative Routes to Industry Exit," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 20(3), pages 317-337, July.
    9. Subhash C. Ray & Kankana Mukherjee & Yanna Wu, 2006. "Direct And Indirect Measures Of Capacity Utilization: A Non-Parametric Analysis Of Us Manufacturing," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 74(4), pages 526-548, July.
    10. repec:eee:transa:v:110:y:2018:i:c:p:118-127 is not listed on IDEAS

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