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On the Evolution of Size and Productivity in Transition: Evidence from Slovenian Manufacturing Firms

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  • Saso Polanec

Abstract

This paper compiles a set of stylized facts on the evolution of Firm size and labor and total factor productivity distributions during the process of transition. These facts are based on the data for all Slovenian manufacturing firms active between 1994 and 2003. Stylized picture of transition can be summarized as follows. Initially, we can distinguish between two types of firms: small and on average more productive and large and on average less productive firms. Removal of institutional restrictions has spurred growth of small firms and entry of new firms on one hand and decline and exit of large firms on the other. These simultaneous shifts have transformed the shape of firm size distribution from bimodal into unimodal. While labor and total factor productivity distributions exhibit large right-hand shifts and lower heterogeneity over time, firm productivity rankings changed substantially. Smaller firms, which were initially more productive, exhibited lower productivity growth rates and thus gradually lost their advantage. Commonly held view of transition as a process of reallocation of resources from inefficient state to efficient private firms is at odds with our results of aggregate labor and total factor productivity decompositions. Almost half of aggregate labor productivity growth can be explained by within firm growth and the rest by reallocation. Our evidence suggests that within firm growth seems to be related to the process of technological catching up of less productivelarge firms. These stylized facts may give a wrong impression of transition being a deterministic process, while it is not. The process is stochastic and thus similar to those found for established market economies. Hence theoretical models of transition should reflect deterministic features that we outlined and preserve stochastic elements introduced in now standard models of industrial dynamics.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven in its series LICOS Discussion Papers with number 15404.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:15404

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Keywords: manufacturing; size; labor productivity; total factor productivity; catching up; distributions; transition;

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  1. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
  2. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  12. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. 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.
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