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BPEA Article

Summary of the Papers – Microeconomics 1995

Abstract

THIS ISSUE CONTAINS papers presented December 9 and 10, 1994, at the
ninth meeting of the Brookings Microeconomics Panel. The papers
address topics in labor economics, industrial organization, political
economy, and international trade. Most are related by their concern
with productivity issues. The industry studies by Casey Ichniowski and
Kathryn Shaw and by Frederick Abernathy, John Dunlop, Janice Hammond,
and David Weil are part of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation's
Industry Studies initiatives. The Ichniowski and Shaw paper examines
the adoption of modern labor practices by U.S. steel firms. Abernathy,
Dunlop, Hammond, and Weil examine how information technologies,
inventory practices, and changes in distribution channels affect the
productivity and profitability of U.S. apparel firms. Ben Craig and John
Pencavel examine how the ownership structure of plywood product
firms in the Pacific Northwest affects firm productivity. Andrew Bernard
and Bradford Jensen use longitudinal plant data to study the relation
between wages and exports. Boyan Jovanovic and Yaw Nyarko
develop a new learning model that yields empirical predictions about
learning curves. Martin Baily and Hans Gersbach compare productivity
levels in nine U.S., German, and Japanese industries.

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