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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 5 No. 1 (January 2013)

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Back on the Rails: Competition and Productivity in State-Owned Industry

Article Citation

Das, Sanghamitra, Kala Krishna, Sergey Lychagin, and Rohini Somanathan. 2013. "Back on the Rails: Competition and Productivity in State-Owned Industry." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1): 136-62.

DOI: 10.1257/app.5.1.136

Abstract

We use a proprietary dataset on the floor-level operations at the largest rail mill in India to study the response of productivity to the threat of entry. Output per active shift increased by 28 percent over 3 years with minimal changes in physical capital and employment. By combining data on the timing of various training programs in the mill with shift-level variation in worker composition, we are able to attribute over half of the higher productivity to training specifically targeted toward improving rail output. Our work suggests high returns to knowledge-enhancing investment in emerging economies. (JEL D22, D24, J24, L23, L32, L61, O14)

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Authors

Das, Sanghamitra (?)
Krishna, Kala (PA State U and CESifo, Munich)
Lychagin, Sergey (Central European U, Budapest)
Somanathan, Rohini (Delhi School of Economics)

JEL Classifications

D22: Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24: Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
L23: Organization of Production
L32: Public Enterprises; Public-Private Enterprises
L61: Metals and Metal Products; Cement; Glass; Ceramics
O14: Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology

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