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The productivity impact of new technology: This research explores the impact of the major technological innovation of the minimill on the US steel industry, analyzing detailed producer-level data on prices and production over a year period. The study illustrates how technology can drive reallocation: Instead, less productive vertically integrated plants were driven out of the industry and output was reallocated to more efficient producers.
The increased availability of detailed data on what goes on inside firms has made it possible for researchers analyzing the drivers of productivity to distinguish between effects within producers and across producers. The empirical results of these studies point to an important distinction between productivity effects at the level of the individual producer and those realized by moving resources between producers — the reallocation mechanism.
Industry productivity rises not only because the average plant becomes more productive, but due to a shift of resources from less productive plants to more productive plants. The latter effects are governed by market forces such as competition, whereby market shares are allocated across producers active in a given market.
Indeed, industry productivity rises not only because the average plant becomes more productive, but due to a shift of resources from less productive plants to more productive plants.
In recent research, we examine one particular industry — the US steel sector — for which we have detailed producer-level data on prices and production. Our setting is well suited for measuring the role of technological change, since we directly observe the arrival of a new production process — the minimill — at the plant level.
As such, this constitutes a case study of the impact of a major technological innovation that changed the face of an industry. The steel industry not only had a major impact on the geography of economic activity, but it also significantly increased the efficiency of production.
As a consequence, prices and overall profits in the industry were considerably lower. Productivity growth in the US steel industry Both the inputs used in steelmaking and the products were remarkably stable over a year period.
Productivity growth in steel is almost uniquely driven by process innovation rather than through the introduction of new goods.
Observing a panel of steel producers over a year period — — allows us to study the long-run implications of increased competition, such as the slow process of firm entry and exit.
This dramatic fall in employment had far-reaching economic and social implications. For example, between andPittsburgh — which used to be the center of the US steel industry — fell from being the 10th largest city in the United States to the 52nd largest. While employment in the steel sector fell by a factor of five, shipments of steel products in reached the level of the early s.
This makes the steel sector one of the fastest growing manufacturing industries over the last three decades, behind only the computer software and equipment industries. The US steel industry really stands out: This left the industry with onlyworkers in compared with aboutin Figure 1 plots the trajectory of shipments, employment and capital over our sample period.
The black solid line tracks the relevant variable for the industry at large. We find that the main reason for the rapid productivity growth — and the associated decline in employment — was not the result of a steady drop in steel consumption or the emergence of globalization.
Nor was it the displacement of production away from the Midwest. Introduction of the steel minimill The increase in productivity in the US steel industry can be directly linked to the introduction of a new production technology: We find that minimill plants were significantly more productive than traditional steel plants, and that this productivity premium initiated a reallocation process whereby minimills displaced the older technology inimill plants were significantly more productive than traditional steel plants, and that this productivity premium initiated a reallocation process whereby minimills displaced the older technology known as vertically integrated production.Executive summary.
Demographics, automation and inequality have the potential to dramatically reshape our world in the s and beyond. Our analysis shows that the collision of these forces could trigger economic disruption far greater than we have experienced over the past 60 years (see Figure 1).
Supplement. eAppendix 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Guideline for the Prevention of Surgical Site Infection, Background, Methods and Evidence Summaries.
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