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Productivity Dispersion, Competition and Productivity Measurement

  • Ralf Martin

A startling fact of firm level productivity analysis is the large and persistent differences in both labour productivity and total factor productivity (TFP) between firms in narrowly defined sectoral classes. The competitiveness of an industry is potentially an important factor explaining this productivity dispersion. The degree of competition has also implications for the measurement of TFP at the firm level. This paper firstly develops a novel control function approach to production function and TFP estimation explicitly taking imperfect competition into account. This addresses a number of issues with the control function approach to productivity estimation. Secondly, applying this new approach to UK data it shows that productivity dispersion on average is about 50 percent higher than with standard TFP measures. It also shows that accounting for imperfect competition matters for estimates of the persistence of TFP. Thirdly, the paper finds a negative relationship between competition and productivity dispersion.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0692.

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Date of creation: May 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0692
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
  3. Z, Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1997. "Production Functions : The Search for Identification," Working Papers 97-30, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Rachel Griffith, 1999. "Using the ARD establishment level data to look at foreign ownership and productivity in the UK," IFS Working Papers W99/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Criscuolo, Chiara & Ralf Martin, 2003. "Multinationals, foreign ownership and US productivity leadership: Evidence from the UK," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 50, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Chad Syverson, 2004. "Product Substitutability and Productivity Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 534-550, May.
  7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2000. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jacques Mairesse & Bronwyn H. Hall, 1996. "Estimating the Productivity of Research and Development: An Exploration of GMM Methods Using Data on French & United States Manufacturing Firms," NBER Working Papers 5501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Klette, Tor Jakob, 1999. "Market Power, Scale Economies and Productivity: Estimates from a Panel of Establishment Data," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 451-76, December.
  10. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  11. Tor Jakob Klette & Zvi Griliches, 1992. "The Inconsistency of Common Scale Estimators When Output Prices Are Unobserved and Engogenous," NBER Working Papers 4026, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Griffith, Rachel, 1999. "Using the ARD Establishment Level Data to Look at Foreign Ownership and Productivity in the United Kingdom," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(456), pages F416-42, June.
  13. Stephen Bond & Måns Söderbom, 2005. "Adjustment Costs and the Identification of Cobb Douglas Production Functions," Economics Papers 2005-W04, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  14. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  16. Haijime Katayama & Shihua Lu & James Tybout, 2003. "Why Plant-Level Productivity Studies are Often Misleading, and an Alternative Approach to Interference," NBER Working Papers 9617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
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