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When firms and industries matter: understanding the sources of productivity growth

Author

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  • Ulf Lewrick
  • Lukas Mohler
  • Rolf Weder

Abstract

This paper presents a framework to assess the relative importance of three key sources of productivity growth that research on international trade focuses on: (i) inter-industry specialisation; (ii) intra-industry reallocation of resources across heterogeneous firms, including firm entry and exit; and (iii) technological progress. Detailed data on Swiss manufacturing firms illustrate how the framework can be empirically applied. Based on this example, we find that intra-industry reallocations are the most important source of growth in aggregate total factor productivity, reflecting in particular the productivity growth of large, incumbent firms and the entry of new firms. That said, inter-industry specialisation and general technological progress remain important supplementary sources of growth in Swiss manufacturing.

Suggested Citation

  • Ulf Lewrick & Lukas Mohler & Rolf Weder, 2014. "When firms and industries matter: understanding the sources of productivity growth," BIS Working Papers 469, Bank for International Settlements.
  • Handle: RePEc:bis:biswps:469
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Manuel García-Santana & Enrique Moral-Benito & Josep Pijoan-Mas & Roberto Ramos, 2016. "Growing like Spain: 1995-2007," Economics Working Papers 1517, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    2. Albinowski, Maciej & Hagemejer, Jan & Lovo, Stefania & Varela, Gonzalo, 2015. "Sustaining Micro Competitiveness to Ensure Convergence and Macro Resilience of the Polish Economy," MF Working Papers 23, Ministry of Finance in Poland.
    3. Roy, Jayjit, 2017. "On the environmental consequences of intra-industry trade," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 50-67.
    4. Florian Gerth, 2017. "Allocative efficiency of UK firms during the Great Recession," Studies in Economics 1714, School of Economics, University of Kent.

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    Keywords

    Growth; total factor productivity; inter-industry trade; intra-industry trade;

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