An Overlooked Scenario of “Reswitching” in the Austrian Structure of Production

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Since Samuelson’s (1966) reswitching example in the 1960s, it became clear that the Average Production Period (APP) is not necessarily a decreasing function of the interest rate. Recently, Fillieule (2007) and Hülsmann (2010) have shown that Samuelson’s example is not a mere curiosity. They showed that in a reasonable production structure model, the length of production increases with the interest rate instead of decreasing. However, their model did not present “reswitching” behavior. In this paper a generic model of the structure of production, in which both Fillieule’s and Hülsmann’s models are specific cases, is presented. It shows that the APP has a nonmonotonic dependence on the interest rate, which resembles a “reswitching” behavior: it increases for low-interest rates up to a maximum value, and then decreases back to almost the initial value. The decrease occurs within a relatively narrow range of interest rates, which may explain why it was missed in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-532
Number of pages24
JournalQuarterly Journal of Austrian Economics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


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