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Product Choice and Product Switching

  • Andrew B. Bernard


    (Tuck School of Business)

  • Stephen J. Redding


    (London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE))

  • Peter K. Schott


    (School of Management)

This paper develops a model of endogenous product selection by firms. The theory is motivated by new evidence we present on the importance of product switching by U.S. manufacturers. Two-thirds of continuing firms change their product mix every five years, and product switches involve more than 40% of firm output and almost half of existing products. The theoretical model incorporates heterogeneous firms, heterogeneous products, and ongoing entry and exit. In equilibrium, firm productivity is correlated with product fixed costs, with the most productive firms choosing to make the products with the highest fixed costs. Changes in market structure result in systematic patterns of firm entry/exit and product switching.

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Paper provided by Yale School of Management in its series Yale School of Management Working Papers with number ysm381.

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Date of creation: 11 Jun 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ysm:somwrk:ysm381
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  8. Streitwieser, Mary L, 1992. "The Extent and Nature of Establishment-Level Diversification in Sixteen U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 503-34, October.
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  12. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2002. "Survival of the Best Fit: Competition from Low Wage Countries and the (Uneven) Growth of US Manufacturing Plants," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm299, Yale School of Management.
  13. Yakov Amihud & Baruch Lev, 1981. "Risk Reduction as a Managerial Motive for Conglomerate Mergers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 12(2), pages 605-617, Autumn.
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  17. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  24. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  25. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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