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Demand or productivity: What determines firm growth?

  • A. Pozzi
  • F. Schivardi

    ()

We disentangle the contribution of unobserved heterogeneity in idiosyncratic demand and productivity to firm growth. We use a model of monopolistic competition with Cobb-Douglas production and a dataset of Italian manufacturing firms containing unique information on firm-level prices to reach three main conclusions. First, demand shocks are at least as important as productivity shocks for firm growth. Second, firms respond to shocks less than a frictionless model would predict, suggesting the existence of adjustment frictions. Finally, the degree of under-response is much larger for TFP shocks. This implies the existence of frictions with differential effects according to the nature of the shock, unlike the typical frictions studied by the literature on factor misallocation. We consider hurdles to firm reorganization as one such friction and show that they hamper firms’ responses to TFP shocks but not to demand shocks.

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Paper provided by Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia in its series Working Paper CRENoS with number 201224.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cns:cnscwp:201224
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  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448.
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  5. Bloom, Nicholas & Sadun, Raffaella & Van Reenen, John, 2007. "Americans Do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," CEPR Discussion Papers 6291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  7. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2007. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," Discussion Papers 07-006, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  8. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  13. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Erik Brynjolfsson & Lorin M. Hitt, 2002. "Information Technology, Workplace Organization, and the Demand for Skilled Labor: Firm-Level Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(1), pages 339-376.
  15. Asker, John & Collard-Wexler, Allan & De Loecker, Jan, 2011. "Productivity volatility and the misallocation of resources in developing economies," CEPR Discussion Papers 8469, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Virgiliu Midrigan & Daniel Yi Xu, 2014. "Finance and Misallocation: Evidence from Plant-Level Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 422-58, February.
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  18. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Gerard A. Pfann, 1996. "Adjustment Costs in Factor Demand," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1264-1292, September.
  19. Nick Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2010. "Human resource management and productivity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28730, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  20. Francesco Lippi & Fabiano Schivardi, 2010. "Corporate Control and Executive Selection," EIEF Working Papers Series 1014, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jul 2010.
  21. De Loecker, Jan & Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Khandelwal, Amit & Pavcnik, Nina, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 8900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  24. John Haltiwanger & Chad Syverson & Lucia Foster, 2010. "The Slow Growth of New Plants: Learning about Demand?," 2010 Meeting Papers 128, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Hopenhayn, Hugo & Rogerson, Richard, 1993. "Job Turnover and Policy Evaluation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(5), pages 915-38, October.
  26. Ackerberg, Daniel & Lanier Benkard, C. & Berry, Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 2007. "Econometric Tools for Analyzing Market Outcomes," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 63 Elsevier.
  27. Francois Gourio & Leena Rudanko, 2011. "Customer Capital," NBER Working Papers 17191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  29. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Benjamin Moll, 2010. "Why Does Misallocation Persist?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 189-206, January.
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