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Do innovation and human capital explain the productivity gap between small and large firms?

Author

Listed:
  • Laia Castany

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Enrique Lopez-Bazo

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

  • Rosina Moreno

    () (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

Abstract

Empirical evidence is compelling that large firms are more productive than small firms. The hypothesis in this paper is that the productivity differences between small and large firms are associated with two of the main determinants of a firm’s performance: the human and technological capital that firms incorporate. We suggest that the contribution of these factors in explaining the size of the productivity gap might not only be due to the fact that large firms make a more extensive use of them, but also because large firms obtain higher returns from their investment in human and technological capital. The evidence we obtain for a comprehensive sample of Spanish manufacturing firms (1990-2002) supports this hypothesis, which has important implications for the effectiveness of policies designed to improve productivity in SMEs by stimulating innovation and the use of more skilled workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Laia Castany & Enrique Lopez-Bazo & Rosina Moreno, 2007. "Do innovation and human capital explain the productivity gap between small and large firms?," IREA Working Papers 200716, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised Nov 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:200716
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    File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2007/200716.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Ornaghi, Carmine, 2006. "Spillovers in product and process innovation: Evidence from manufacturing firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 349-380, March.
    5. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
    6. Julia I. Lane & John C. Haltiwanger & James Spletzer, 1999. "Productivity Differences across Employers: The Roles of Employer Size, Age, and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 94-98, May.
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    8. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-243, May.
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    12. Elena Huergo & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2004. "How Does Probability of Innovation Change with Firm Age?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3_4), pages 193-207, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Marijn Verschelde & Michel Dumont & Glenn Rayp & Bruno Merlevede, 2016. "Semiparametric stochastic metafrontier efficiency of European manufacturing firms," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 53-69, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    total factor productivity; innovation; skilled labour; firm size.;

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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