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Heterogeneity of total factor productivity across Latin American countries: evidence from manufacturing firms

We use a firm production function approach to generate estimates of total factor productivity (TFP) and labor productivity in the manufacturing sector for a group of Latin American countries. We exploit these estimates to study the relative position of countries within this sector and to explore the main correlates of firm productivity. We find that while the exact ranking of average TPF is sensitive to the underlying form of the production function, Chile and Argentina average level of TFP is found to be consistenly above that of other countries, while Bolivia firms always appears at the bottom of the distribution. While other aspects matter, the main factors explaining differences in productivity across firms are related to country-level, not firm-level, characteristics.

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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12034.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12034
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  1. Blundell, R. & Bond, S., 1995. "Initial Conditions and Moment Restrictions in Dynamic Panel Data Models," Economics Papers 104, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341, 04.
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