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Do innovation and human capital explain the productivity gap between small and large firms?

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  • Laia Castany

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Enrique Lopez-Bazo

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Rosina Moreno

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

Abstract

Empirical evidence is compelling that large firms are more productive than small firms. The hypothesis in this paper is that the productivity differences between small and large firms are associated with two of the main determinants of a firm’s performance: the human and technological capital that firms incorporate. We suggest that the contribution of these factors in explaining the size of the productivity gap might not only be due to the fact that large firms make a more extensive use of them, but also because large firms obtain higher returns from their investment in human and technological capital. The evidence we obtain for a comprehensive sample of Spanish manufacturing firms (1990-2002) supports this hypothesis, which has important implications for the effectiveness of policies designed to improve productivity in SMEs by stimulating innovation and the use of more skilled workers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics in its series IREA Working Papers with number 200716.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision: Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:200716

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Web page: http://www.ub.edu/irea/
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Related research

Keywords: total factor productivity; innovation; skilled labour; firm size.;

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  1. Mathias Dewatripont & Patrick Bolton, 1996. "The firm as a communication network," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/9597, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Huergo, Elena & Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2004. "Firms' age, process innovation and productivity growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 541-559, April.
  3. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
  4. Barbara Sianesi & John Van Reenen, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Macroeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 157-200, 04.
  5. P. Geroski, 1998. "An Applied Econometrician's View of Large Company Performance," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 271-294, June.
  6. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
  7. Zabojnik, Jan & Bernhardt, Dan, 2001. "Corporate Tournaments, Human Capital Acquisition, and the Firm Size-Wage Relation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 693-716, July.
  8. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2006. "Spillovers in product and process innovation: Evidence from manufacturing firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 349-380, March.
  9. Hall, Bronwyn H. & Mairesse, Jacques, 1995. "Exploring the relationship between R&D and productivity in French manufacturing firms," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 263-293, January.
  10. Elena Huergo & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2004. "How Does Probability of Innovation Change with Firm Age?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3_4), pages 193-207, 04.
  11. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-43, May.
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