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Distant but Close in Sight. Firm-level Evidence on French-German Productivity Gaps in Manufacturing

Author

Listed:
  • Thomas Grebel

    (Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany)

  • Mauro Napoletano

    (OFCE Sciences-Po
    SKEMA Business School)

  • Lionel Nesta

    (Université Côte d'Azur, France
    GREDEG CNRS
    OFCE, SciencesPo
    SKEMA Business School)

Abstract

We study the productivity level distributions of manufacturing firms in France and Germany, and how these distributions evolved across the Great Recession. We show the presence of a systematic productivity advantage of German firms over French ones in the decade 2003-2013, but the gap has narrowed down after the Great Recession. Convergence is explained by the better growth performance of French firms in the post-recession period, especially of those located in the top percentiles of the productivity distribution. We also highlight the role of sectoral growth, firm size and export intensity in explaining the above convergence. In contrast, the contribution of allocative efficiency was small.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Grebel & Mauro Napoletano & Lionel Nesta, 2020. "Distant but Close in Sight. Firm-level Evidence on French-German Productivity Gaps in Manufacturing," GREDEG Working Papers 2020-50, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
  • Handle: RePEc:gre:wpaper:2020-50
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    Keywords

    International productivity gaps; productivity distributions; firm level comparisons;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity

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