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Estimating returns to scale with large imperfect panels


  • Tybout, James R.
  • Westbrook, M. Daniel


In this paper, the authors provide systematic panel-based econometric estimates of plant-level returns to scale for various 3-digit and 4-digit manufacturing industries, using panel data for Chilean plants. The paper attempts to answer two questions: 1) Do policies that promote"bigness"in manufacturing plants also promote greater productivity?; and 2) As plants grow, do they become more efficient? The paper is organized as follows. First, the author's assumptions regarding technology and behavior are presented. The following section discusses alternative estimators that deal with different aspects of the econometric problems they faced. Finally, applications of the alternative estimators to various 3-digit and 4-digit industries are reported and an attempt is made to determine which returns to scale estimates are the most reliable.

Suggested Citation

  • Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1991. "Estimating returns to scale with large imperfect panels," Policy Research Working Paper Series 754, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:754

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demsetz, Harold, 1973. "Industry Structure, Market Rivalry, and Public Policy," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 1-9, April.
    2. Tybout, James & de Melo, Jamie & Corbo, Vittorio, 1991. "The effects of trade reforms on scale and technical efficiency : New evidence from Chile," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3-4), pages 231-250, November.
    3. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1984. "Panel data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 22, pages 1247-1318 Elsevier.
    5. Jovanovic, Boyan & Lach, Saul, 1989. "Entry, Exit, and Diffusion with Learning by Doing," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 690-699, September.
    6. Mundlak, Yair, 1978. "On the Pooling of Time Series and Cross Section Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 69-85, January.
    7. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    8. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    9. Gary Chamberlain, 1980. "Analysis of Covariance with Qualitative Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 225-238.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jaramillo, Fidel & Schiantarelli, Fabio & Weiss, Andrew, 1993. "The effect of financial liberalization on allocation of credit : panel data evidence for Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1092, The World Bank.


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