Creative Destruction in Industries
Most industries go through a "shakeout" phase during which the number of producers in the industry declines. Industry output generally continues to rise, however, which implies a reallocation of capacity from exiting firms to incumbents and new entrants. Thus shakeouts seem to be classic creative destruction episodes. Shakeouts of firms tend to occur sooner in industries where technological progress is rapid. Existing models do not explain this. Yet the relation emerges naturally in a vintage-capital model in which shakeouts of firms accompany the replacement of capital, and in which a shakeout is the first replacement echo of the capital created when the industry is born. We fit the model to the Gort-Klepper data and to Agarwal's update of those data.
This paper was revised on June 13, 2007