Competitiveness in the Quarterly Business Survey in Goods-Producing Industries
This working paper aims at assessing the quality and relevance of firms statements about their own « competitiveness » within the French Quarterly Business Survey in goods-producing industries. A higher competitiveness at the individual level is significantly correlated with higher sales, higher production, lower costs of materials and lower labour costs. However this correlation concerns raw values, not values relative to other firms in the sector. This result should warn us against what firms truly mean while stating the way their competitiveness evolves: they might indicate variations of the economic situation or business conditions, rather than a true evolution of their market situation relative to competitors. We sum up firm-level statements about competitiveness into an aggregate competitiveness index. This index seems fairly well correlated with other common « competitiveness » indices, such as aggregate labour productivity, exchange rates or aggregate costs relative to foreign competitors.
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