Despite ongoing negotiations, consensus has not yet been reached on what action will be taken to combat global warming. A number of companies have looked beyond the current stalemate to see the prospect of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions not as a roadblock to growth and innovation but as a unique opportunity to increase profits and productivity. These "cool" companies understand the strategic importance of reducing heat-trapping emissions and have worked to cut their emissions by fifty percent or more. In the process, they have not only reduced their energy bill, but have increased their productivity, sometimes dramatically.In Cool Companies, energy expert Joseph Romm describes the experiences of these remarkable firms, as he presents more than fifty case studies in which bottom line improvements have been achieved by improving processes, increasing energy efficiency, and adopting new technologies. Romm places efforts to reduce emissions in the context of proven corporate strategies, showing managers how they can build or retrofit their operations with the latest technologies to reduce emissions and achieve quick returns on the investment. Case studies explain: the concept of "lean production" and why systematic efforts to reduce emissions so often lead to productivity gains how changes in office and building design can significantly increase productivity, greatly compounding gains achieved from increased energy efficiency options for "cool" power -- from cogeneration to solar, wind, and geothermal energy energy efficiency in manufacturing, including motors and motor systems, steam, and process energyIn profiling successful companies such as DuPont, 3M, Compaq, Xerox, Toyota, Verifone, Perkin-Elmer, and Centerplex, among many others, Cool Companies turns on its head the notion that the effort to combat global warming will come with massive costs to the industrial sector. It is a unique and essential business book for anyone concerned with increasing profits and productivity while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
French trade unions played a historical role in the 1930s quite unlike that of any other labor movement. Against a backdrop of social unrest, parliamentary crisis, and impending world war, industrial unionists in the great metal-fabricating plants of the Paris Region carried out a series of street mobilizations, factory occupations, and general strikes that were virtually unique in Western history.
The unionization of the metal industry, following a series of anti-fascist demonstrations and plant seizures, would constitute the defining episode in modern French labor history and one of the great chapters in European social history. Yet little is known of these extraordinary events.
With a style that captures the vivid character of these experiences, Every Factory a Fortress tells the story of the Paris metal workers, who succeeded in organizing the largest Communist union in the Western world, reshaping the parameters of French social relations, and, ultimately, altering the course of French destinies.
Considering the examples of Australia and the Pacific Rim, Growth and Productivity in East Asia offers a contemporary explanation for national productivity that measures contributions not only from capital and labor, but also from economic activities and relevant changes in policy, education, and technology.
Takatoshi Ito and Andrew K. Rose have organized a group of collaborators from several Asian countries, the United States, and other parts of the globe who ably balance both macroeconomic and microeconomic study with theoretical and empirical approaches. Growth and Productivity in East Asia gives special attention to the causes for the unusual success of Australia, one of the few nations to maintain unprecedented economic growth despite the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2001 global downturn. A new database comprising eighty-four Japanese sectors reveals new findings for the last thirty years of sectoral productivity and growth in Japan. Studies focusing on Indonesia, Taiwan, and Korea also consider productivity and its relationship to research and development, foreign ownership, and policy reform in such industries as manufacturing, automobile production, and information technology.
In recent years, globalization and the expansion of information technologies have reshaped managerial practices, forcing multinational firms to adjust business practices to different environments and domestic companies to adjust to their foreign competitors. In International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms, a distinguished group of contributors examines the phenomenon of widespread differences in managerial practices across firms, establishments within firms, and countries.
This volume brings together eight studies that combine qualitative and quantitative insider analysis of business practices such as the use of teams, incentive pay, lean manufacturing, and quality control, revealing the elements that determine which practices are adopted and why. International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms offers a much-needed model for measuring the productivity and performance of international firms in a fast-paced global economy.
The productivity slowdown of the 1970s and 1980s and the resumption of productivity growth in the 1990s have provoked controversy among policymakers and researchers. Economists have been forced to reexamine fundamental questions of measurement technique. Some researchers argue that econometric approaches to productivity measurement usefully address shortcomings of the dominant index number techniques while others maintain that current productivity statistics underreport damage to the environment. In this book, the contributors propose innovative approaches to these issues. The result is a state-of-the-art exposition of contemporary productivity analysis.
Charles R. Hulten is professor of economics at the University of Maryland. He has been a senior research associate at the Urban Institute and is chair of the Conference on Research in Income and Wealth of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Michael Harper is chief of the Division of Productivity Research at the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Edwin R. Dean, formerly associate commissioner for Productivity and Technology at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is adjunct professor of economics at The George Washington University.
The disparity between rich and poor countries is the most serious, intractable problem facing the world today. The chronic poverty of many nations affects more than the citizens and economies of those nations; it threatens global stability as the pressures of immigration become unsustainable and rogue nations seek power and influence through extreme political and terrorist acts. To address this tenacious poverty, a vast array of international institutions has pumped billions of dollars into these nations in recent decades, yet despite this infusion of capital and attention, roughly five billion of the world's six billion people continue to live in poor countries. What isn't working? And how can we fix it?
The Power of Productivity provides powerful and controversial answers to these questions. William W. Lewis, the director emeritus of the McKinsey Global Institute, here draws on extensive microeconomic studies of thirteen nations over twelve years—conducted by the Institute itself—to counter virtually all prevailing wisdom about how best to ameliorate economic disparity. Lewis's research, which included studying everything from state-of-the-art auto makers to black-market street vendors and mom-and-pop stores, conclusively demonstrates that, contrary to popular belief, providing more capital to poor nations is not the best way to help them. Nor is improving levels of education, exchange-rate flexibility, or government solvency enough. Rather, the key to improving economic conditions in poor countries, argues Lewis, is increasing productivity through intense, fair competition and protecting consumer rights.
As The Power of Productivity explains, this sweeping solution affects the economies of poor nations at all levels—from the viability of major industries to how the average consumer thinks about his or her purchases. Policies must be enacted in developing nations that reflect a consumer rather than a producer mindset and an attendant sense of consumer rights. Only one force, Lewis claims, can stand up to producer special privileges—consumer interests.
The Institute's unprecedented research method and Lewis's years of experience with economic policy combine to make The Power of Productivity the most authoritative and compelling view of the global economy today, one that will inform political and economic debate throughout the world for years to come.
The Census Bureau has recently begun releasing official statistics that measure the movements of firms in and out of business and workers in and out of jobs. The economic analyses in Producer Dynamics exploit this newly available data on establishments, firms, and workers, to address issues in industrial organization, labor, growth, macroeconomics, and international trade.
This innovative volume brings together a group of renowned economists to probe topics such as firm dynamics across countries; patterns of employment dynamics; firm dynamics in nonmanufacturing industries such as retail, health services, and agriculture; employer-employee turnover from matched worker/firm data sets; and turnover in international markets. Producer Dynamics will serve as an invaluable reference to economists and policy makers seeking to understand the links between firms and workers, and the sources of economic dynamics, in the age of globalization.
Emerging from the ruins of the Second World War, the Japanese economy has grown at double-digit rate throughout much of the 1950s and 1960s, and, when the oil crisis of the 1970s slowed growth throughout the industrialized world, Japanese growth throughout the industrialized world, Japanese growth rates remained relatively strong. There have been many attempts by scholars from a wide range of disciplines to explain this remarkable history, but for economists interested in the quantitative analysis of economic growth and the principal question addressed is how Japan was able to grow so rapidly.
The contributors focus their efforts on the accurate measurement and comparison of Japanese and U.S. economic growth. Assuming that any sustained increase in real GNP must be due either to an increase in the quantity of capital and labor used in production or to the more efficient use of these inputs, the authors analyze the individual contributions of various factors and their importance in the process of output growth.
These essays extend the methodology of growth analysis and offer many insights into the factors leading to the superior performance of the Japanese economy. They demonstrate that growth is a complex process and no single factor can explain the Japanese 'miracle.'
Zvi Griliches, a world-renowned pioneer in the field of productivity growth, has compiled in a single volume his pathbreaking research on R&D and productivity. Griliches addresses the relationship between research and development (R&D) and productivity, one of the most complex yet vital issues in today's business world. Using econometric techniques, he establishes this connection and measures its magnitude for firm-, industry-, and economy-level data.
Griliches began his studies of productivity growth during the 1950s, adding a variable of "knowledge stock" to traditional production function models, and his work has served as the point of departure for much of the research into R&D and productivity. This collection of essays documents both Griliches's distinguished career as well as the history of this line of thought.
As inputs into production increasingly taking the form of "intellectual capital" and new technologies that are not as easily measured as traditional labor and capital, the methods Griliches has refined and applied to R&D become crucial to understanding today's economy.
The Return to Increasing Returns
James M. Buchanan and Yong J. Yoon, Editors University of Michigan Press, 1994 Library of Congress HD69.S5R48 1994 | Dewey Decimal 338.9
The wealth of a nation depends on the division of labor, and the division of labor depends on the extent of the market. Adam Smith advanced this proposition in 1776, but neoclassical economists, in particular, have had difficulty incorporating it into conversational models. Increasing returns, as related to the size of the market nexus, have never found a secure place in economic theory, despite early efforts by Adam Smith, Alfred Marshall, and Allyn Young.
The neoclassical theory of distribution, developed in the last decades of the nineteenth century, relies on the postulate that in equilibrium there exist constant returns to scale, not only in particular firms and industries, but in the economy as a whole. As general equilibrium theory developed, emphasis was sifted to the properties of equilibrium, to the proofs of its existence, and to the attributes of welfare. The possibility of increasing returns represented an analytical “monkey wrench” thrown in the whole neoclassical structure. Thus, the neglect of increasing returns may have been methodologically understandable – if scientifically scandalous. Only in recent years has the increasing returns postulate returned to the mainstream through analyses of endogenous growth, international trade, unemployment, and the economics of ethics.