IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Small Scale Reservation Laws and the Misallocation of Talent




In this paper we quantify the effects of the Small Scale Reservation Laws in India on the aggregate productivity, aggregate output and welfare of the Indian economy. To this end, we extend the span-of-control model by Lucas (1978) into a multi-sector setting and embed it into the neo-classical growth model. Our main theoretical contribution is to model the occupational choice within this framework. We fully calibrate our model to data from India for the early 2000’s. We find that lifting the Small Scale Reservation Laws would increase output per worker by 3.2 percent, capital per worker by 7.1 percent and aggregate TFP by 0.8 percent. Within manufacturing, output per worker would increase by 9.8 percent, capital per worker by 12.5 percent and TFP by 3.6 percent. Average firm size in manufacturing would raise from 19 to 69 employees. These are large numbers given that the size of the restricted sector is only 12 percent of manufacturing value added and 3 percent of total GDP. However, this conspicuous type of size-dependent policy cannot account for the large gap in manufacturing TFP existing between the US and India.

Suggested Citation

  • Manuel García-Santana & Josep Pijoan-Mas, 2010. "Small Scale Reservation Laws and the Misallocation of Talent," Working Papers wp2010_1010, CEMFI.
  • Handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2010_1010

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andrés Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "How Important Is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1421-1449.
    2. Alessio Moro, 2012. "The Structural Transformation Between Manufacturing and Services and the Decline in the US GDP Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 402-415, July.
    3. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
    4. Goyette, Jonathan & Gallipoli, Giovanni, 2015. "Distortions, efficiency and the size distribution of firms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 202-221.
    5. Bulent Unel, 2003. "Productivity Trends in India's Manufacturing Sectors in the Last Two Decades," IMF Working Papers 03/22, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. François Gourio & Nicolas Roys, 2014. "Size‐dependent regulations, firm size distribution, and reallocation," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 377-416, July.
    2. Goyette, Jonathan & Gallipoli, Giovanni, 2015. "Distortions, efficiency and the size distribution of firms," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 202-221.
    3. Benjamin Bridgman & Michael Maio & James A. Schmitz, 2012. "What ever happened to the Puerto Rican sugar manufacturing industry?," Staff Report 477, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Luis Garicano & Claire Lelarge & John Van Reenen, 2016. "Firm Size Distortions and the Productivity Distribution: Evidence from France," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3439-3479, November.
    5. Manuel García-Santana, 2013. "Foreign Firms, Distribution of Income, and the Welfare of Developing Countries," 2013 Meeting Papers 1044, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. López-Martín Bernabé, 2016. "Informal Sector Misallocation," Working Papers 2016-09, Banco de México.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cmf:wpaper:wp2010_1010. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Araceli Requerey). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.