NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Learning and Forgetting: The Dynamics of Aircraft Production

C. Lanier Benkard

NBER Working Paper No. 7127
Issued in May 1999
NBER Program(s):   PR

This paper introduces a new cost dataset for a commercial aircraft firm and uses this data to analyze the dynamics of learning in commercial aircraft production. This dataset is found to be inconsistent with the simple learning hypothesis, and particularly the prediction that a firm's unit cost must decline with its cumulative production. Instead, strong support is found for the hypothesis of organizational forgetting, a more general learning model where unit costs are similarly dependent on a firm's past production experience, but where that experience depreciates over time. Additionally, it is found that some, but not all, of a firm's production experience transfers from one generation of an aircraft to the next. This evidence adds to our understanding of productivity in industries with learning and thus has implications to many fields of economics.

download in pdf format
   (351 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (351 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w7127

Published: Benkard, C. Lanier. "Learning And Forgetting: The Dynamics Of Aircraft Production," American Economic Review, 2000, v90(4,Sep), 1034-1054.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Klepper Industrial Policy in the Transport Aircraft Industry
Baldwin and Krugman Industrial Policy and International Competition in Wide-Bodied Jet Aircraft
Kleiner, Leonard, and Pilarski w7414 Do Industrial Relations Affect Plant Performance?: The Case of Commercial Aircraft Manufacturing
Benkard w7710 A Dynamic Analysis of the Market for Wide-Bodied Commercial Aircraft
Syverson w10501 Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

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

Contact Us