What Drives the Productive Efficiency of a Firm? The Importance of Industry,Location, R&D, and Size
This paper investigates the factors that explain the level and dynamics of productive efficiency of a manufacturing firm. In our empirical analysis, we use a unique sample of about 39,000 firms in 256 industries from the German Cost Structure Census over the years 1992–2005. We estimate the efficiencies of the firms and relate them to firm-specific and environmental factors. We find that (1) about half of the model’s explanatory power is due to industry effects, (2) that firm size accounts for another twenty percent, and (3) that the headquarters’ location explains approximately fifteen percent. Interestingly, most other firm characteristics such as R&D intensity, outsourcing activities or the number of owners have an extremely small explanatory power. Surprisingly, our findings suggest that higher R&D intensity is associated with being less efficient, though higher R&D spending increases a firm’s efficiency over time.
|Date of creation:||25 Mar 2008|
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