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Patterns of Advanced Technology Adoption and Manufacturing Performance: An Overview

This report on technology adoption patterns and performance characteristics in a sample of several thousand U.S. manufacturing plants sheds new light on the ways in which technology is associated with growth. The report summarizes a more detailed study to be released later that finds patterns of technology adoption to be enormously diverse.

Nonetheless, dispersion of advanced technologies appears to follow a recognizable progression: the most frequently adopted complex technology combinations are often comprised of more common simpler combinations. The study also suggests that specific technologies and technology combinations have varying degrees of association with plant-level job creation, productivity and earnings. Moreover, the association between technology and plant performance is related to the characteristics of the plant itself. Plants with integrated fabrication and assembly operations appear to use technologies more effectively than plants engaged in only fabrication or assembly.

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