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Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data

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  • Sara Calligaris

Abstract

Over the last two decades, total factor productivity (TFP) in Italy decreased by 0.2% per year, while increasing on average in the Euro-area countries. This decline suggests the existence of large inefficiencies in the allocation of resources, making the Italian case particularly interesting and suitable in order to study the role of misallocation. In this article, I quantify the within-industry misallocation of inputs in Italy over the period 1993–2011, by applying the Hsieh and Klenow's methodology. Using a micro-level longitudinal dataset of Italian manufacturing firms, I find that, in the hypothetical absence of distortions, aggregate TFP in manufacturing would be boosted by 58% in 1993, by 67% in 2006 and by 80% in 2011. This leads to a twofold conclusion: first, misallocation plays a crucial role in determining the inefficiency level of the Italian manufacturing sector; second, misallocation has increased over time. Given the magnitude of the results obtained and the policy implications related thereto, I take a step ahead by checking to what extent the degree of misallocation can be attributed to specific characteristics of the Italian firms: it emerges that misallocation is higher for firms located in the south and at low-technological intensity, as well as for small or young firms.

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  • Sara Calligaris, 2015. "Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 367-393, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:labour:v:29:y:2015:i:4:p:367-393
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/labr.12067
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    3. Gnocato, Nicolò & Modena, Francesca & Tomasi, Chiara, 2020. "Labor market reforms and allocative efficiency in Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    4. Ignacio Lopez, Jose & Mengus, Eric & Challe, Edouard, 2016. "Southern Europe's Institutional Decline," HEC Research Papers Series 1148, HEC Paris.
    5. T. Libert, 2017. "Misallocation Before, During and After the Great Recession," Working papers 658, Banque de France.
    6. Dias, Daniel A. & Robalo Marques, Carlos & Richmond, Christine, 2016. "Misallocation and productivity in the lead up to the Eurozone crisis," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 46-70.
    7. Sara Calligaris & Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I P Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi & Tommaso MonacelliManaging Editor, 2018. "The productivity puzzle and misallocation: an Italian perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 635-684.
    8. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    9. Bin Li & Shuai Shi & Yating Zeng, 2020. "The Impact of Haze Pollution on Firm-Level TFP in China: Test of a Mediation Model of Labor Productivity," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(20), pages 1-21, October.
    10. Doan Thi Thanh Ha & Kozo Kiyota & Kenta Yamanouchi, 2016. "Misallocation and Productivity: The Case of Vietnamese Manufacturing," Asian Development Review, MIT Press, vol. 33(2), pages 94-118, September.
    11. Fabiano Schivardi & Tom Schmitz, 2020. "The IT Revolution and Southern Europe’s Two Lost Decades [Lack of Selection and Limits to Delegation: Firm Dynamics in Developing Countries]," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(5), pages 2441-2486.
    12. Alam, M. Jahangir, 2020. "Capital misallocation: Cyclicality and sources," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).
    13. Patrice Ollivaud & Yvan Guillemette & David Turner, 2018. "Investment as a transmission mechanism from weak demand to weak supply and the post-crisis productivity slowdown," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1466, OECD Publishing.
    14. Siwapong Dheera Aumpon, 2018. "Resource Misallocation and Rice Productivity in Thailand," Montenegrin Journal of Economics, Economic Laboratory for Transition Research (ELIT), vol. 14(2), pages 143-153.
    15. Daniel A. Dias & Carlos Robalo Marques & Christine Richmond, 2020. "A Tale of Two Sectors: Why is Misallocation Higher in Services than in Manufacturing?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 66(2), pages 361-393, June.
    16. Maurice Bun & Jasper de Winter, 2019. "Measuring trends and persistence in capital and labor misallocation," DNB Working Papers 639, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    17. Marco Bee & Julien Hambuckers, 2020. "Modeling multivariate operational losses via copula-based distributions with g-and-h marginals," DEM Working Papers 2020/3, Department of Economics and Management.
    18. Konstantins Benkovskis, 2018. "Misallocation, productivity and fragmentation of production: the case of Latvia," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 187-206, June.
    19. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & E. Bartoloni, 2018. "The sources of heterogeneity in firm performance: Lessons from Italy," Economics Department Working Papers 2018-EP02, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    20. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini, 2018. "Eterogeneità delle imprese e stagnazione del capitalismo italiano," Economics Department Working Papers 2018-EP01, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    21. Matteo Bugamelli & Francesca Lotti & Monica Amici & Emanuela Ciapanna & Fabrizio Colonna & Francesco D�Amuri & Silvia Giacomelli & Andrea Linarello & Francesco Manaresi & Giuliana Palumbo & Filippo , 2018. "Productivity growth in Italy: a tale of a slow-motion change," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 422, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

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