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Innovation, Productivity Dispersion, and Productivity Growth

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  • Lucia Foster
  • Cheryl Grim
  • John Haltiwanger
  • Zoltan Wolf

Abstract

We examine whether underlying industry innovation dynamics are an important driver of the large dispersion in productivity across firms within narrowly defined sectors. Our hypothesis is that periods of rapid innovation are accompanied by high rates of entry, significant experimentation and, in turn, a high degree of productivity dispersion. Following this experimentation phase, successful innovators and adopters grow while unsuccessful innovators contract and exit yielding productivity growth. We examine the dynamic relationship between entry, productivity dispersion, and productivity growth using a new comprehensive firm-level dataset for the U.S. We find a surge of entry within an industry yields an immediate increase in productivity dispersion and a lagged increase in productivity growth. These patterns are more pronounced for the High Tech sector where we expect there to be more innovative activities. These patterns change over time suggesting other forces are at work during the post-2000 slowdown in aggregate productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Zoltan Wolf, 2018. "Innovation, Productivity Dispersion, and Productivity Growth," Working Papers 18-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-08
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    Cited by:

    1. Cindy Cunningham & Lucia Foster & Cheryl Grim & John Haltiwanger & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia & Jay Stewart & Zoltan Wolf, 2018. "Dispersion in Dispersion: Measuring Establishment-Level Differences in Productivity," Working Papers 18-25, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    2. Aleksandra Kordalska & Magdalena Olczyk, 2020. "What fosters firm-level labour productivity in Eastern European and Central Asian countries?," Bank i Kredyt, Narodowy Bank Polski, vol. 51(1), pages 91-120.
    3. Nathan Goldschlag & Elisabeth Perlman, 2017. "Business Dynamic Statistics of Innovative Firms," Working Papers 17-72, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Ryan Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2018. "Changing Business Dynamism and Productivity : Shocks vs. Responsiveness," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-007, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Goldin, Ian & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Lafond, François & Winkler, Julian, 2020. "Why is productivity slowing down?," MPRA Paper 99172, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Damiani, Mirella & Pompei, Fabrizio & Kleinknecht, Alfred, 2020. "When robots do (not) enhance job quality: The role of innovation regimes," MPRA Paper 103059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Anderton, Robert & Jarvis, Valerie & Labhard, Vincent & Morgan, Julian & Petroulakis, Filippos & Vivian, Lara, 2020. "Virtually everywhere? Digitalisation and the euro area and EU economies," Occasional Paper Series 244, European Central Bank.
    8. Yang, Jangho & Heinrich, Torsten & Winkler, Julian & Lafond, François & Koutroumpis, Pantelis & Farmer, J. Doyne, 2019. "Measuring productivity dispersion: a parametric approach using the Lévy alpha-stable distribution," MPRA Paper 96474, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Gonzales-Rocha, Erick & Mendez-Guerra, Carlos, 2018. "Increasing productivity dispersion: Evidence from light manufacturing in Brazil," MPRA Paper 88478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Lota Tamini & Aristide B. Valéa, 2019. "Innovation Activities and Export Performance of Canadian Small and Medium-Sized Agri-Food Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 2019s-09, CIRANO.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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