Micro-based evidence of EU competitiveness: The CompNet database
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, the construction of 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.
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- Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014.
"Heterogeneous Firms and Trade,"
Handbook of International Economics,
- Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms and trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Melitz, Marc J & Redding, Stephen J., 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 9317, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," NBER Working Papers 18652, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric Bartelsman & John Haltiwanger & Stefano Scarpetta, 2009. "Measuring and Analyzing Cross-country Differences in Firm Dynamics," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 15-76 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Haltiwanger, John, 2011. "Firm dynamics and productivity growth," EIB Papers 5/2011, European Investment Bank, Economics Department.
- Ackerberg, Daniel & Caves, Kevin & Frazer, Garth, 2006. "Structural identification of production functions," MPRA Paper 38349, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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