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

51 Pages Posted: 28 Apr 2012 Last revised: 26 Mar 2022

See all articles by Steven D. Levitt

Steven D. Levitt

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics

Chad Syverson

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2012

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Levitt, Steven D. and List, John A. and Syverson, Chad, Toward an Understanding of Learning by Doing: Evidence from an Automobile Assembly Plant (April 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2047268

Steven D. Levitt (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-1862 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

American Bar Foundation

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

John A. List

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Chad Syverson

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
52
Abstract Views
920
rank
515,694
PlumX Metrics