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How and why do Firms differ?

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  • Tor Jakob Klette
  • Arvid Raknerud

    ()
    (Statistics Norway)

Abstract

How do firms differ, and why do they differ even within narrowly defined industries? Using evidence from six high-tech, manufacturing industries covering a 24-year period, we show that differences in sales, materials, labor costs and capital across firms can largely be summarized by a single, firm-specific, dynamic factor, which we label efficiency in the light of our structural model. The model contains the complete system of supply and factor demand equations. It suggests that efficiency 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 efficiency. Among the firms established within the 24-year period that we consider, permanent differences in efficiency dominate over differences generated by firm-specific, cumulated innovations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 320.

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Date of creation: Jul 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:320

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Keywords: efficiency; firm heterogeneity; labor productivity; intrinsic differences; firm-specific innovations; state space models; maximum likelihood.;

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References

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  7. 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.
  8. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1997. "Empirical Patters of Firm Growth and R&D Investment: A Quality Ladder Model Interpretation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1795, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  9. 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.
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  13. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
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  17. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  18. Lambson, Val Eugene, 1992. "Competitive Profits in the Long Run," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 125-42, January.
  19. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1995. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 997-99, September.
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  24. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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