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Assessing competitiveness: how firm-level data can help


  • Carlo Altomonte
  • Giorgio Barba Navaretti
  • Filippo di Mauro
  • Gianmarco Ottaviano


As policymakers refocus on growth, the ability to take a firm-level view is key to disentangling the various factors at the root of competitiveness, and thus to designing appropriate policies.• Firm-level data provides critical information for the design of appropriate competitiveness measures that complement traditional macro analysis. • More work remains to be done assembling firm-level information, but the variance of the distribution of firm characteristics already conveys important information in addition to standard averages.• New indicators should be developed to translate the distribution of firm characteristics into indicators of competitiveness designed to capture not only average performance but also the heterogeneity of firm performance.This Policy Contribution builds on ongoing research within EFIGE (, a project to help identify the internal policies needed to improve the external competitiveness of the European Union.

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  • Carlo Altomonte & Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Filippo di Mauro & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2011. "Assessing competitiveness: how firm-level data can help," Policy Contributions 643, Bruegel.
  • Handle: RePEc:bre:polcon:643

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rosa Bernardini Papalia & Pinuccia Calia & Carlo Filippucci, 2015. "Information Theoretic Competitiveness Composite Indicator at Micro Level," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 123(2), pages 349-370, September.
    2. Aranzazu Crespo & Marcel Jansen, 2014. "The Role of Global Value Chains during the Crisis: Evidence from Spanish and European Firms," Working Papers 2014-09, FEDEA.
    3. Borgersen, Trond-Arne & King, Roswitha M., 2015. "Endogenous supply side constraints to export-led growth and aggregate growth implications in transition economies," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 96-109.
    4. Kenneth Poon & Alfons Weersink, 2014. "Growing Forward with Agricultural Policy: Strengths and Weaknesses of Canada's Agricultural Data Sets," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 62(2), pages 191-218, June.
    5. Carlo Altomonte & Tommaso Aquilante & Gianmarco Ottaviano, . "The triggers of competitiveness: The EFIGE cross-country report," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 738, August.
    6. Xifré, Ramon, 2014. "The Competitiveness of the Spanish Economy -- A Bird's-eye View on the Four Largest Euro Area Economies," IESE Research Papers D/1088, IESE Business School.
    7. Crespo, Aranzazu; Segura-Cayuela, Ruben, 2014. "Understanding Competitiveness," Economics Working Papers MWP2014/20, European University Institute.
    8. Neil Foster & Roman Stöllinger & Carlo Altomonte & Richard Kneller, 2012. "The Trade-Productivity Nexus in the European Economy," FIW Specials series 005, FIW.
    9. Henri Bogaert & Chantal Kegels, 2012. "Planning Paper 112 - Compétitivité de la Belgique - Défis et pistes de croissance
      [Planning Paper 112 - Concurrentievermogen van België - Uitdagingen en groeipistes]
      ," Planning Papers 112, Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium.

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