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How and why do firms differ?

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Author Info

  • Jakob Klette, Tor

    ()
    (Dept. of Economics, University of Oslo)

  • Raknerud, Arvid

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

How do firms differ, and why do they di.er even within narrowly defined industries? Using evidence from six high-tech, manufacturing industries covering a 24-year period, we show that di.erences in sales, materials, labor costs and capital across firms can largely be summarized by a single, firm-specific, dynamic factor, which we label effciency in the light of our structural model. The model contains the complete system of supply and factor demand equations. It suggests that e.ciency is strongly linked to profitability and firm size, but it is unrelated to labor productivity. Our second task is to understand the origin and evolution of the differences in effciency. Among the firms established within the 24 year period that we consider, permanent differences in efficiency dominate over di.erences generated by firm-specific, cumulated innovations.

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File URL: http://www.sv.uio.no/econ/english/research/memorandum/pdf-files/2002/Memo-30-2002.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Oslo University, Department of Economics in its series Memorandum with number 30/2002.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: 18 Jun 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:osloec:2002_030

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, University of Oslo, P.O Box 1095 Blindern, N-0317 Oslo, Norway
Phone: 22 85 51 27
Fax: 22 85 50 35
Email:
Web page: http://www.oekonomi.uio.no/indexe.html
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Related research

Keywords: effciency; firm heterogeneity; labor productivity; intrinsic differences; firmspecific innovations; state space models; maximum likelihood;

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References

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  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2000. "Vintage organization capital," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Apr.
  3. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 997-99, September.
  5. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  6. Zvi Griliches & Tor Jakob Klette, 1999. "Empirical patterns of firm growth and R&D investment: a quality ladder model interpretation," IFS Working Papers W99/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Erik Biørn & Tor Jakob Klette, 1994. "Errors in Variables and Panel Data: The Labour Demand Response to Permanent Changes in Output," Discussion Papers 125, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  8. John Haltiwanger & C J Krizan & Lucia Foster, 1998. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons From Microeconomic Evidence," Working Papers 98-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-83, June.
  10. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984. "Errors in Variables in Panel Data," NBER Technical Working Papers 0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert MOFFIT & John FITZGERALD & Peter GOTTSCHALK, 1999. "Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Role of Selection on Observables," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 55-56, pages 129-152.
  13. Richard Blundell & Steve Bond, 1999. "GMM estimation with persistent panel data: an application to production functions," IFS Working Papers W99/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2000. "Beyond Computation: Information Technology, Organizational Transformation and Business Performance," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 23-48, Fall.
  15. Quah, Danny, 1993. "Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," CEPR Discussion Papers 820, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Heckman, James J, 1991. "Identifying the Hand of the Past: Distinguishing State Dependence from Heterogeneity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(2), pages 75-79, May.
  17. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  18. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," NBER Working Papers 8819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. John M. Abowd & Bruno Crepon & Francis Kramarz, 1997. "Moment Estimation with Attrition," NBER Technical Working Papers 0214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
  21. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  22. Leamer, Edward E., 1983. "Model choice and specification analysis," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 5, pages 285-330 Elsevier.
  23. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 125-42, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Hoveid, Oyvind & Raknerud, A., 2008. "Dynamics of income, wealth and capital in Norwegian farm household accounts: A state-space model," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44461, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Annegrete Bruvoll & Torstein Bye & Jan Larsson & Kjetil Telle, 2003. "Technological changes in the pulp and paper industry and the role of uniform versus selective environmental policy," Discussion Papers 357, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  3. Şeker, Murat, 2012. "A structural model of firm and industry evolution: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 891-913.
  4. Haijime Katayama & Shihua Lu & James Tybout, 2003. "Why Plant-Level Productivity Studies are Often Misleading, and an Alternative Approach to Interference," NBER Working Papers 9617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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