NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Allan Collard-Wexler

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Working Papers and Chapters

March 2014How Do Electricity Shortages Affect Productivity? Evidence from India
with Hunt Allcott, Stephen D. O'Connell: w19977
Endemic blackouts are a particularly salient example of how poor infrastructure might reduce growth in developing economies. As a case study, we analyze how Indian textile plants respond to weekly “power holidays.” We then study how electricity shortages affect all Indian manufacturers, using an instrument based on hydroelectricity production and a hybrid Leontief/Cobb-Douglas production function model. Shortages reduce average output by about five percent, but because most inputs can be stored during outages, productivity losses are much smaller. Plants without generators have much larger losses, and because of economies of scale in generator capacity, shortages more severely affect small plants.
January 2013Reallocation and Technology: Evidence from the U.S. Steel Industry
with Jan De Loecker: w18739
We measure the impact of a drastic new technology for producing steel – the minimill – on the aggregate productivity of U.S. steel producers, using unique plant-level data between 1963 and 2002. We find that the sharp increase in the industry's productivity is linked to this new technology, and operates through two distinct mechanisms. First, minimills displaced the older technology, called vertically integrated production, and this reallocation of output was responsible for a third of the increase in the industry's productivity. Second, increased competition, due to the expansion of minimills, drove a substantial reallocation process within the group of vertically integrated producers, driving a resurgence in their productivity, and consequently of the industry's productivity as a whole.
June 2011Productivity Volatility and the Misallocation of Resources in Developing Economies
with John Asker, Jan De Loecker: w17175
We investigate the role of dynamic production inputs and their associated adjustment costs in shaping the dispersion of total factor productivity (TFP) and static measures of capital misallocation within a country. Using data on 5,010 establishments in 33 developing countries from the World Bank’s Enterprise Research Data, we find that countries exhibiting greater time-series volatility of productivity are also characterized by greater cross-sectional dispersion in productivity. Volatility in TFP explains one quarter to one third of cross-country productivity dispersion. We document a similar relationship between productivity volatility and the dispersion of the marginal revenue product of capital (static capital misallocation). We then use a standard model of investment with adjustment co...
October 2010Child-Adoption Matching: Preferences for Gender and Race
with Mariagiovanna Baccara, Leonardo Felli, Leeat Yariv: w16444
This paper uses a new data set on child-adoption matching to estimate the preferences of potential adoptive parents over U.S.-born and unborn children relinquished for adoption. We identify significant preferences favoring girls and unborn children close to birth, and against African-American children put up for adoption. These attitudes vary in magnitudes across different adoptive parents – heterosexual, same-sex couples, and single women. We also consider the effects of excluding single women and same-sex couples from the adoption process. In our data, such policies would substantially reduce the overall number of adopted children and have a disproportionate effect on African-American ones.

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