NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant

Steven D. Levitt, John A. List, Chad Syverson

NBER Working Paper No. 18017
Issued in April 2012
NBER Program(s):   IO   PR

Productivity improvements within establishments (e.g., factories, mines, or retail stores) are an important source of aggregate productivity growth. Past research has documented that learning by doing–productivity improvements that occur in concert with production increases–is one source of such improvements. Yet little is known about the specific mechanisms through which such learning occurs. We address this question using extremely detailed data from an assembly plant of a major auto producer. Beyond showing that there is rapid learning by doing at the plant, we are able to pinpoint the processes by which these improvements have occurred.

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the August 2012 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Information about Free Papers

You should expect a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18017

Published: Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(4), pages 643 - 681. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Levitt, List, Neckermann, and Sadoff w18165 The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance
Einav, Knoepfle, Levin, and Sundaresan w18018 Sales Taxes and Internet Commerce
Malmendier, Moretti, and Peters w18024 Winning by Losing: Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Mergers
Fryer, Levitt, List, and Sadoff w18237 Enhancing the Efficacy of Teacher Incentives through Loss Aversion: A Field Experiment
Costinot and Donaldson w17969 Ricardo's Theory of Comparative Advantage: Old Idea, New Evidence
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us