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The Aggregate Implications of Machine Replacement: Theory and Evidence

Russell Cooper and John Haltiwanger

American Economic Review, 1993, vol. 83, issue 3, 360-82

Abstract: The authors study an economy in which producers incur resource costs to replace depreciated machines. The process of costly replacement and depreciation creates endogenous fluctuations in productivity, employment, and output of a single producer. The authors explore the spillover effects of machine replacement on other sectors of the economy and provide conditions for synchronized machine replacement by multiple independent producers. The implications of their model are generally consistent with observed monthly output, employment, and productivity fluctuations in automobile plants. Synchronization of retooling across plants within the auto industry is widespread, so that the fluctuations observed at the plant level have aggregate implications. Copyright 1993 by American Economic Association.

Date: 1993
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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:83:y:1993:i:3:p:360-82