IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v103y2013i1p305-34.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Bartelsman
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Stefano Scarpetta

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of idiosyncratic (firm-level) policy distortions on aggregate outcomes. Exploiting harmonized firm‑level data for a number of countries, we show that there is substantial and systematic cross‑country variation in the within-industry covariance between size and productivity. We develop a model in which heterogeneous firms face adjustment frictions (overhead labor and quasi-fixed capital) and distortions. The model can be readily calibrated so that variations in the distribution of distortions allow matching the observed cross-country moments. We show that the differences in the distortions that account for the size-productivity covariance imply substantial differences in aggregate performance. (JEL D24, L25, O47)

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:305-34
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.1.305
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/articles?id=10.1257/aer.103.1.305
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/feb2013/20091235_data.zip
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/feb2013/20091235_app.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Comparative analysis of firm demographics and survival: evidence from micro-level sources in OECD countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 365-391, June.
    2. Eric J. Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2004. "Microeconomic Evidence of Creative Destruction in Industrial and Developing Countries," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-114/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Steven J. Davis & R. Jason Faberman & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Business Volatility, Job Destruction, and Unemployment," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 259-287, April.
    4. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1996. "Taste for variety and optimum production patterns in monopolistic competition," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 41-47, July.
    6. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton & Fabio Kanczuk, 2009. "Plant Size Distribution and Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Chapters, in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2008, pages 243-272, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2008. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Heterogeneous Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 11(4), pages 707-720, October.
    9. Bartelsman, Eric J & de Wind, Joris & Gautier, Pieter A, 2010. "Employment Protection, Technology Choice, and Worker Allocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7806, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
    11. S.K. Bhutani, 2009. "China and India," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 65(4), pages 383-391, October.
    12. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    13. Carmen Pagés-Serra & Reyes Aterido & Mary Hallward-Driemeier, 2007. "Investment Climate and Employment Growth: The Impact of Access to Finance, Corruption and Regulations Across Firms," Research Department Publications 4559, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    14. Lucia Foster & John C. Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2001. "Aggregate Productivity Growth: Lessons from Microeconomic Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 303-372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2006. "Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 748-758, November.
    16. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    17. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336.
    18. Danielle Venn, 2009. "Legislation, Collective Bargaining and Enforcement: Updating the OECD Employment Protection Indicators," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 89, OECD Publishing.
    19. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Market Structure and Productivity: A Concrete Example," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1181-1222, December.
    20. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
    21. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Duflo, Esther, 2005. "Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 473-552, Elsevier.
    22. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-1150, September.
    23. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-1297, November.
    24. John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Thorsten Schank, 2003. "Productivity, Investment in ICT and Market Experimentation: Micro Evidence from Germany and the U.S," Working Papers 03-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    25. Timothy Dunne & J. Bradford Jensen & Mark J. Roberts, 2009. "Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number dunn05-1, May.
    26. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Reallocation, Firm Turnover, and Efficiency: Selection on Productivity or Profitability?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 394-425, March.
    27. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Measuring and Analyzing Cross-country Differences in Firm Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 15-76, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. 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.
    29. Pierre, Gaelle & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2006. "Employment protection: Do firms' perceptions match with legislation?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 328-334, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Duverger, Catherine & van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno, 2011. "Determinants of productivity growth: Science and technology policies and the contribution of R&D," EIB Papers 9/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    2. Strauss, Hubert, 2011. "Productivity and growth in Europe: Editor's introduction," EIB Papers 1/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    3. Haltiwanger, John, 2011. "Firm dynamics and productivity growth," EIB Papers 5/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    4. Altomonte, Carlo & Ottaviano, Gianmarco, 2011. "The role of international production sharing in EU productivity and competitiveness," EIB Papers 3/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    5. Uppenberg, Kristian, 2011. "Economic growth in the US and the EU: a sectoral decomposition," EIB Papers 2/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    6. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-365, June.
    7. Arnold, Jens & Scarpetta, Stefano & Nicoletti, Giuseppe, 2011. "Regulation, resource reallocation and productivity growth," EIB Papers 4/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
    8. John Haltiwanger, 2012. "Job Creation and Firm Dynamics in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 12, pages 17-38, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Eric J. Bartelsman, 2010. "Searching for the sources of productivity from macro to micro and back," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1891-1917, December.
    10. Maurice Kugler & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Marcela Eslava, 2009. "Trade Reforms and Market Selection: Evidence from Manufacturing Plants in Colombia," 2009 Meeting Papers 615, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    11. Stefano Scarpetta: & John Haltiwanger & Eric Bartelsman:, 2007. "Cross Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocative Efficiency," 2007 Meeting Papers 134, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Bento, Pedro & Restuccia, Diego, 2021. "On average establishment size across sectors and countries," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 220-242.
    13. J. David Brown & Gustavo A. Crespi & Leonardo Iacovone & Luca Marcolin, 2018. "Decomposing firm-level productivity growth and assessing its determinants: evidence from the Americas," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(6), pages 1571-1606, December.
    14. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "Products and Productivity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 681-709, December.
    15. Andrea Caggese & Vicente Cunat, 2013. "Financing Constraints, Firm Dynamics, Export Decisions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 177-193, January.
    16. Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Does competition raise productivity through improving management quality?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 306-316, May.
    17. Toni M. Whited & Jake Zhao, 2015. "Capital Structure Misallocation," Department of Economics Working Papers 15-05, Stony Brook University, Department of Economics.
    18. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2013. "Misallocation and productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 1-10, January.
    19. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Robert Kulick & Javier Miranda, 2016. "High Growth Young Firms: Contribution to Job, Output, and Productivity Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, pages 11-62, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Paul Grieco & Hongsong Zhang & Shengyu Li, 2018. "Input Prices, Productivity and Trade Dynamics: Long-run Effects of Liberalization on Chinese Paint Manufactures," 2018 Meeting Papers 874, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Price Discrimination and Bargaining: Empirical Evidence from Medical Devices (AER 2013) in ReplicationWiki
    2. Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection (AER 2013) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:1:p:305-34. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.