IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/oup/ecpoli/v33y2018i96p635-684..html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The productivity puzzle and misallocation: an Italian perspective

Author

Listed:
  • Sara Calligaris
  • Massimo Del Gatto
  • Fadi Hassan
  • Gianmarco I P Ottaviano
  • Fabiano Schivardi
  • Tommaso MonacelliManaging Editor

Abstract

Productivity has recently slowed down in many economies around the world. A crucial challenge in understanding what lies behind this ‘productivity puzzle’ is the still short time span for which data can be analysed. An exception is Italy, where productivity growth started to stagnate 25 years ago. The Italian case can therefore offer useful insights to understand the global productivity slowdown. We find that resource misallocation has played a sizeable role in slowing down Italian productivity growth. If misallocation had remained at its 1995 level, in 2013 Italy’s aggregate productivity would have been 18% higher than its actual level. Misallocation has mainly risen within sectors rather than between them, increasing more in sectors where the world technological frontier has expanded faster. Relative specialization in those sectors explains the patterns of misallocation across geographical areas and firm size classes. The broader message is that an important part of the explanation of the productivity puzzle may lie in the rising difficulty of reallocating resources across firms within sectors where technology is changing faster rather than between sectors with different speeds of technological change.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 33(96), pages 635-684.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ecpoli:v:33:y:2018:i:96:p:635-684.
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/epolic/eiy014
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bruegel, 2010. "The global operations of European firms," Policy Briefs 411, Bruegel.
    2. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Carlo Altomonte & Daniel Horgos & Daniela Maggioni, . "The global operations of European firms - The second EFIGE policy report," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 581, December.
    3. Kaiji Chen & Alfonso Irarrazabal, 2015. "The Role of Allocative Efficiency in a Decade of Recovery," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 18(3), pages 523-550, July.
    4. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    5. Nicholas Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2012. "Americans Do IT Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 167-201, February.
    6. Gita Gopinath & Şebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Loukas Karabarbounis & Carolina Villegas-Sanchez, 2017. "Capital Allocation and Productivity in South Europe," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1915-1967.
    7. Ms. Lusine Lusinyan & Mr. Dirk V Muir, 2013. "Assessing the Macroeconomic Impact of Structural Reforms The Case of Italy," IMF Working Papers 2013/022, International Monetary Fund.
    8. Engel, Charles, 2000. "Long-run PPP may not hold after all," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 243-273, August.
    9. John G. Fernald, 2015. "Productivity and Potential Output before, during, and after the Great Recession," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51.
    10. Rachel Griffith & Stephen Redding & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Mapping the Two Faces of R&D: Productivity Growth in a Panel of OECD Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 883-895, November.
    11. Matteo Bugamelli & Fabiano Schivardi & Roberta Zizza, 2010. "The Euro and Firm Restructuring," NBER Chapters, in: Europe and the Euro, pages 99-138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Elisa Gamberoni & Claire Giordano & Paloma Lopez-Garcia, 2016. "Capital and labour (mis)allocation in the euro area: Some stylized facts and determinants," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 349, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    14. Fabiano Schivardi & Enrico Sette & Guido Tabellini, 2022. "Credit Misallocation During the European Financial Crisis," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(641), pages 391-423.
    15. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    16. André Sapir, 2005. "Un modello obsoleto? Crescita e specializzone dell'economia italiana," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8122, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    17. Choi, In, 2001. "Unit root tests for panel data," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 249-272, April.
    18. 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.
    19. Oriana Bandiera & Renata Lemos & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2018. "Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 31(5), pages 1605-1653.
    20. David H. Autor & David Dorn & Gordon H. Hanson, 2013. "The China Syndrome: Local Labor Market Effects of Import Competition in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2121-2168, October.
    21. Manuel García‐Santana & Enrique Moral‐Benito & Josep Pijoan‐Mas & Roberto Ramos, 2020. "Growing Like Spain: 1995–2007," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 61(1), pages 383-416, February.
    22. Francesco Daveri & Maria Laura Parisi, 2015. "Experience, Innovation, and Productivity," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(4), pages 889-915, August.
    23. Nicolas Ziebarth, 2013. "Are China and India Backwards? Evidence from the 19th Century U.S. Census of Manufactures," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 86-99, January.
    24. Wolfgang Proissl, 2010. "Why Germany fell out of love with Europe," Essays and Lectures 417, Bruegel.
    25. Mark Bils, 2017. "Misallocation or Mismeasurement?," 2017 Meeting Papers 715, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    26. Crespo, Aranzazu; Segura-Cayuela, Ruben, 2014. "Understanding Competitiveness," Economics Working Papers MWP2014/20, European University Institute.
    27. 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.
    28. Pellegrino, Bruno & Zingales, Luigi, 2017. "Diagnosing the Italian Disease," Working Papers 269, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State.
    29. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 2014. "Firm Performance in a Global Market," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 201-227, August.
    30. John Haltiwanger, 2016. "Firm Dynamics and Productivity: TFPQ, TFPR, and Demand Side Factors," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Fall 2016), pages 3-26, October.
    31. Claudio Michelacci & Fabiano Schivardi, 2013. "Does Idiosyncratic Business Risk Matter For Growth?," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 343-368, April.
    32. Carlo Altomonte & Tommaso Aquilante, 2012. "The EU-EFIGE/Bruegel-Unicredit dataset," Working Papers 753, Bruegel.
    33. Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    34. Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," NBER Working Papers 23666, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    35. 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.
    36. G. Jacob Blackwood & Lucia S. Foster & Cheryl A. Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2021. "Macro and Micro Dynamics of Productivity: From Devilish Details to Insights," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 142-172, July.
    37. Michele Battisti & Filippo Belloc & Massimo Del Gatto, 2015. "Unbundling Technology Adoption and tfp at the Firm Level: Do Intangibles Matter?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 390-414, June.
    38. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    39. Sara Calligaris, 2015. "Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 367-393, December.
    40. Francesco Lippi & Fabiano Schivardi, 2014. "Corporate control and executive selection," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 417-456, July.
    41. Andrea Linarello & Andrea Petrella, 2017. "Productivity and Reallocation: Evidence from the Universe of Italian Firms," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 32, pages 116-136, Spring.
    42. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    43. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. John Asker & Allan Collard-Wexler & Jan De Loecker, 2014. "Dynamic Inputs and Resource (Mis)Allocation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 122(5), pages 1013-1063.
    45. Sara Calligaris, 2015. "Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," CEIS Research Paper 357, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Oct 2015.
    46. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
    47. 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.
    48. Matteo Bugamelli & Luigi Cannari & Francesca Lotti & Silvia Magri, 2012. "The innovation gap of Italy�s production system: roots and possible solutions," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 121, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    49. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.
    50. Flora Bellone & Jérémy Mallen-Pisano, 2013. "Is Misallocation Higher in France than in the United States?," GREDEG Working Papers 2013-38, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    51. Albert Bollard & Peter Klenow & Gunjam Sharma, 2013. "India's Mysterious Manufacturing Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 59-85, January.
    52. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/dambferfb7dfprc9m01g1j1k2 is not listed on IDEAS
    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. Massimo Del Gatto & Fadi Hassan & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2019. "Company Profits in Italy," European Economy - Discussion Papers 093, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    2. Diego Restuccia & Richard Rogerson, 2017. "The Causes and Costs of Misallocation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 151-174, Summer.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. T. Libert, 2017. "Misallocation Before, During and After the Great Recession," Working papers 658, Banque de France.
    6. 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.
    7. Bańbura, Marta & Albani, Maria & Ambrocio, Gene & Bursian, Dirk & Buss, Ginters & de Winter, Jasper & Gavura, Miroslav & Giordano, Claire & Júlio, Paulo & Le Roux, Julien & Lozej, Matija & Malthe-Thag, 2018. "Business investment in EU countries," Occasional Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.
    8. 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.
    9. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1168, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Francesco Manaresi & Nicola Pierri, 2018. "Credit supply and productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 711, Bank for International Settlements.
    11. Francesco Manaresi & Mr. Nicola Pierri, 2019. "Credit Supply and Productivity Growth," IMF Working Papers 2019/107, International Monetary Fund.
    12. 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.
    13. Sara Calligaris, 2015. "Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 29(4), pages 367-393, December.
    14. Cette, Gilbert & Fernald, John & Mojon, Benoît, 2016. "The pre-Great Recession slowdown in productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 3-20.
    15. Michele Battisti & Filippo Belloc & Massimo Del Gatto, 2020. "Labor Productivity and Firm-Level TFP with Technology-Specific Production Function," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 35, pages 283-300, January.
    16. Claire Giordano, Paloma Lopez-Garcia, 2018. "Is corruption efficiency-enhancing? A case study of the Central and Eastern European region," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 15(1), pages 119-164, June.
    17. Sara Calligaris, 2015. "Misallocation and Total Factor Productivity in Italy: Evidence from Firm-Level Data," CEIS Research Paper 357, Tor Vergata University, CEIS, revised 14 Oct 2015.
    18. Antonin Bergeaud & Simon Ray, 2021. "Adjustment Costs and Factor Demand: New Evidence from Firms’ Real Estate [The heterogeneous impact of market size on innovation: evidence from French firm-level exports]," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 131(633), pages 70-100.
    19. Laura Blattner & Luisa Farinha & Francisca Rebelo, 2017. "When Losses Turn Into Loans: The Cost of Undercapitalized Banks," 2017 Papers pbl215, Job Market Papers.
    20. Pavcnik, Nina & Goldberg, Pinelopi, 2016. "The Effects of Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    misallocation; TFP; productivity; productivity puzzle; Italy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    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:oup:ecpoli:v:33:y:2018:i:96:p:635-684.. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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: Oxford University Press (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cebruuk.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.