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Patterns of Firm-Level Productivity in Ireland


  • Javier Papa

    (Formerly Department of Finance, Ireland)

  • Luke Rehill

    (Department of Finance, Ireland)

  • Brendan O'Connor

    (Department of Finance, Ireland)


Although Ireland is a high productivity country, it has not been immune from the global productivity slowdown, with the pace of growth on a downward trend throughout the 2000s. To identify the determinants behind the aggregate productivity growth in Ireland we use a firm-level panel dataset from the CSO to study productivity patterns and trends distributed by percentile, sector, ownership, as well the efficiency of resource allocation. Our results show a widening of the productivity gap between the most and least productive firms, consistent with cross-country results from the OECD. Results also confirm that aggregate productivity statistics are heavily dominated by a small number of foreign owned firms, leaving Ireland’s productivity prone to firm-specific shocks, while also disguising the performance of domestic sectors and firms. Lastly, allocative efficiency, a key driver of productivity, does not appear particularly strong amongst domestic sectors of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Javier Papa & Luke Rehill & Brendan O'Connor, 2021. "Patterns of Firm-Level Productivity in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 52(3), pages 241-268.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:52:y:2021:i:3:p:241-268

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Zheng, Guanyu & Duy, Hoang Minh & Pacheco, Gail, 2021. "Benchmarking New Zealand's frontier firms," IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers 1/2021, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    2. Papa, Javier, 2018. "NCC Productivity Statement 2018," MPRA Paper 116680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Guanyu Zheng & Hoang Minh Duy & Gail Pacheco, 2021. "Benchmarking the Productivity Performance of New Zealand’s Frontier Firms," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 40, pages 27-55, Spring.

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    More about this item


    firm-level productivity; Ireland;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe


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