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Testing the Multiproduct Hypothesis on Norwegian Aluminium Industry Plants

Although most production activities involve multiple outputs, econometric models of production or cost functions normally involve only one single homogeneous output. The aim of this paper is to test the hypothesis that a multiproduct specification is superior to a model with a single homogenous product. To do this, we use a Multiproduct Symmetric Generalized McFadden (MSGM) cost function. This functional form is globally concave and flexible in the sense that it provides a second order differentiable approximation of any arbitrary cost function which is twice continuously differentiable and linear homogenous in input prices. In an empirical application on a panel data from ten Norwegian primary aluminium plants, we find support for our hypothesis. We present estimates of price elasticities, returns to scale and scope, and product specific demand elasticities. Our results indicate economies of scope, i.e. it is more profitable to produce more than one output, and show sensitivity of factor demand when the product mix changes.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 350.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:350
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  1. Godfrey, Leslie G, 1978. "Testing against General Autoregressive and Moving Average Error Models When the Regressors Include Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1293-1301, November.
  2. Diewert, Walter E & Wales, Terence J, 1987. "Flexible Functional Forms and Global Curvature Conditions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(1), pages 43-68, January.
  3. Bailey, Elizabeth E & Friedlaender, Ann F, 1982. "Market Structure and Multiproduct Industries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 1024-48, September.
  4. Godfrey, Leslie G, 1978. "Testing for Higher Order Serial Correlation in Regression Equations When the Regressors Include Lagged Dependent Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1303-10, November.
  5. Kumbhakar, Subal C, 1989. "Estimation of Technical Efficiency Using Flexible Functional Form and Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 7(2), pages 253-58, April.
  6. Diewert, W E, 1971. "An Application of the Shephard Duality Theorem: A Generalized Leontief Production Function," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(3), pages 481-507, May-June.
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