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Firm Dynamics and Multifactor Productivity: An Empirical Exploration

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  • Pierre St-Amant
  • David Tessier

Abstract

There are indications that business dynamism has declined in advanced economies. In particular, firm entry and exit rates have fallen, suggesting that the creative destruction process has lost some of its vitality. Meanwhile, productivity growth has slowed. Some believe that lower entry and exit rates partly explain the weaker productivity growth. However, the evidence supporting, or invalidating, this view is scarce. In the present paper, we use multi-horizon causality tests and dynamic simulations with Canadian and US data to examine the following question: Do changes to entry and exit rates provide information about, or Granger-cause, future productivity? We do not find significant evidence that entry rates Granger-cause productivity. But we do find evidence that productivity causes entry rates. Using small models with economy-wide data (but not at the sectoral level), we find some evidence that exit rates cause productivity in both countries. This suggests that the decline in productivity growth is partly caused by a decline in the productivity-based exit selection process. However, when other variables, such as measures of the business cycle and the real effective exchange rate, are controlled for, the significance of exit rates in explaining productivity tends to fall. Specifically, business-cycle measures appear to cause both productivity and the exit rate. This suggests that firm dynamics are an intermediate, not an ultimate, cause of productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Pierre St-Amant & David Tessier, 2018. "Firm Dynamics and Multifactor Productivity: An Empirical Exploration," Staff Working Papers 18-15, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:18-15
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John G. Fernald & J. Christina Wang, 2016. "Why Has the Cyclicality of Productivity Changed? What Does It Mean?," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 465-496, October.
    2. Robert Lafrance & Lawrence L. Schembri, 2000. "The Exchange Rate, Productivity, and the Standard of Living," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 1999(Winter), pages 17-28.
    3. Tomlin, Ben, 2014. "Exchange rate fluctuations, plant turnover and productivity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 12-28.
    4. Andrea De Michelis & Marcello Estevão & Beth Anne Wilson, 2013. "Productivity or Employment: Is It a Choice?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 41-60, Spring.
    5. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna & Guidi, Francesco, 2016. "R&D and productivity in OECD firms and industries: A hierarchical meta-regression analysis," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(10), pages 2069-2086.
    6. Gilbert Cette & Christian Clerc & Lea Bresson, 2015. "Contribution of ICT Diffusion to Labour Productivity Growth: The United States, Canada, the Eurozone, and the United Kingdom, 1970-2013," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 28, pages 81-88, Spring.
    7. Dufour, Jean-Marie & Tessier, David, 1993. "On the relationship between impulse response analysis, innovation accounting and Granger causality," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 327-333.
    8. Danny Leung & Césaire Meh & Yaz Terajima, 2008. "Productivity in Canada: Does Firm Size Matter?," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2008(Autumn), pages 7-16.
    9. Andrea De Michelis & Marcello Estevão & Beth Anne Wilson, 2013. "Productivity or Employment: Is It a Choice?," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 25, pages 41-60, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm dynamics; Productivity;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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