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The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous

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Abstract

This paper explores the inconsistency of common scale estimators when output is proxied by deflated sales, based on a common output deflator across firms. The problems arise when firms operate in an imperfectly competitive environment and prices differ between firms. In particular, we show that this problem reveals itself as a downward bias in the scale estimates obtained from production function regressions, under a variety of assumptions about the pattern of technology, demand and factor price shocks. The result also holds for scale estimates obtained from cost functions. The analysis is carried one step further by adding a model of product demand. Within this augmented model we examine the probability limit of the scale estimate obtained from an ordinary production function regression. This analysis reveals that the OLS estimate will be biased towards unity - or possibly a value below unity. We have included an empirical section which illustrates the issues. The empirical analysis presents a tentative approach to avoid the problems discussed in the theoretical part of this paper.

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  • Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "The Inconsistency of Common Scales Estimators when Output Prices are Unobserved and Endogenous," Discussion Papers 127, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:127
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    1. Shapiro, Matthew D, 1987. "Are Cyclical Fluctuations in Productivity Due More to Supply Shocks or Demand Shocks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 118-124, May.
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    5. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    6. Jacques Mairesse & Zvi Griliches, 1988. "Heterogeneity in Panel Data: Are There Stable Production Functions?," NBER Working Papers 2619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Mankiw, N Gregory, 1990. "A Quick Refresher Course in Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(4), pages 1645-1660, December.
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    10. Ringstad, Vidar, 1974. "Some Empirical Evidence on the Decreasing Scale Elasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(1), pages 87-101, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Scale economies; imperfect competition; econometric misspecification; price heterogeneity.;

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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