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Stagnation of productivity in France: A legacy of the crisis or a structural slowdown?

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  • Gilbert Cette
  • Simon Corde
  • Rémy Lecat

Abstract

[eng] The productivity slowdown has been analysed either as an effect of the crisis, resulting from the financial and demand shocks, or as a more structural decline. In France, using macroeconomic and microeconomic data, we identify downward breaks in the trends of labour productivity and total factor productivity in the 2000s, several years before the crisis. These breaks result in historically weak rhythms of the trends. Using data on firms located in France, we highlight that, at the technological frontier, productivity has accelerated, especially over the recent period, which contradicts the hypothesis of a decline in innovation. The most productive firms in a given year do not, however, improve their relative advantage. The convergence of firms’ productivity does not seem to have slowed down in the 2000s, which does not confirm the hypothesis of a decrease in the dissemination of innovation. On the other hand, the dispersion of productivity between firms has increased, which suggests increasing difficulties in the reallocation of production factors, labour and capital, between firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Gilbert Cette & Simon Corde & Rémy Lecat, 2017. "Stagnation of productivity in France: A legacy of the crisis or a structural slowdown?," Economie et Statistique / Economics and Statistics, Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE), issue 494-495-4, pages 11-36.
  • Handle: RePEc:nse:ecosta:ecostat_2017_494-495-496_2
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    Cited by:

    1. Foug�re, Denis & Lecat, R�my & Ray, Simon, 2017. "Real estate prices and corporate investment: theory and evidence of heterogeneous effects across firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 11883, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Thomas Grjebine & Jérôme Héricourt & Fabien Tripier, 2019. "Sectoral Reallocations, Real Estate Shocks and Productivity Divergence in Europe: A Tale of Three Countries," CEPII Policy Brief 2019-27, CEPII research center.

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