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Micro-based evidence of EU competitiveness: the CompNet database

Listed author(s):
  • Dhyne, Emmanuel
  • di Mauro, Filippo
  • Berthou, Antoine
  • Galuščák, Kamil
  • Altomonte, Carlo
  • Opromolla, Luca David
  • Amador, João
  • Soares, Ana Cristina
  • Lopez-Garcia, Paloma
  • Benatti, Nicola
  • Angeloni, Chiara
  • Bugamelli, Matteo
  • D’Aurizio, Leandro
  • Navaretti, Giorgio Barba
  • Forlani, Emanuele
  • Rossetti, Stefania
  • Zurlo, Davide
  • Sandoz-Dit-Bragard, Charlotte
  • Chiriacescu, Bogdan
  • Cazacu, Ana-Maria
  • Lalinsky, Tibor
  • Biewen, Elena
  • Blank, Sven
  • Meinen, Philipp
  • Hagemejer, Jan
  • Tello, Patry
  • Rodríguez-Caloca, Antonio
  • Čede, Urška
  • Meriküll, Jaanika
  • Harasztosi, Péter

Drawing from confidential firm-level balance sheets in 11 European countries, the paper presents a novel sectoral database of comparable productivity indicators built by members of the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) using a newly developed research infrastructure. Beyond aggregate information available from industry statistics of Eurostat or EU KLEMS, the paper provides information on the distribution of firms across several dimensions related to competitiveness, e.g. productivity and size. The database comprises so far 11 countries, with information for 58 sectors over the period 1995-2011. The paper documents the development of the new research infrastructure, describes the database, and shows some preliminary results. Among them, it shows that there is large heterogeneity in terms of firm productivity or size within narrowly defined industries in all countries. Productivity, and above all, size distribution are very skewed across countries, with a thick left-tail of low productive firms. Moreover, firms at both ends of the distribution show very different dynamics in terms of productivity and unit labour costs. Within-sector heterogeneity and productivity dispersion are positively correlated to aggregate productivity given the possibility of reallocating resources from less to more productive firms. To this extent, we show how allocative efficiency varies across countries, and more interestingly, over different periods of time. Finally, we apply the new database to illustrate the importance of productivity dispersion to explain aggregate trade results. JEL Classification: L11, L25, D24, O4, O57

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File URL: https://www.ecb.europa.eu/pub/pdf/scpwps/ecbwp1634.pdf
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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1634.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20141634
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  1. Dan Andrews & Federico Cingano, 2014. "Public policy and resource allocation: evidence from firms in OECD countries," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 29(78), pages 253-296, 04.
  2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
  4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  5. William Kerr & Ufuk Akcigit & Nicholas Bloom & Daron Acemoglu, 2012. "Innovation, Reallocation and Growth," 2012 Meeting Papers 1137, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. John Martin & Stefano Scarpetta, 2012. "Setting It Right: Employment Protection, Labour Reallocation and Productivity," De Economist, Springer, vol. 160(2), pages 89-116, June.
  7. Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2013. "Cross-Country Differences in Productivity: The Role of Allocation and Selection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 305-334, February.
  8. Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Carlo Altomonte & Tommaso Aquilante & Gianmarco Ottaviano, . "The triggers of competitiveness: The EFIGE cross-country report," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 738, July.
  10. 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.
  11. Haltiwanger, John, 2011. "Firm dynamics and productivity growth," EIB Papers 5/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
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