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Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity

Listed author(s):
  • José-María Da-Rocha
  • Marina Mendes Tavares
  • Diego Restuccia

What accounts for differences in output per capita and total factor productivity (TFP) across countries? Empirical evidence points to resource misallocation across heterogeneous production units as an important factor. We study resource misallocation in a model where establishment-level productivity is endogenous and responds to the same policy distortions that create misallocation. In this framework, policy distortions not only misallocate resources across a given set of productive units (static effect), but also create disincentives for productivity improvement (dynamic effect) thereby affecting the productivity distribution and further contributing to lower aggregate output and productivity. The dynamic effect is substantial quantitatively. Reducing the dispersion in revenue productivity in the model by 25 percentage points to the level of the U.S. benchmark implies an increase in aggregate output and TFP by a factor of 2.9-fold. Improved resource allocation accounts for 42 percent of the gain, whereas the change in the productivity distribution accounts for the remaining 58 percent.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 23339.

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Date of creation: Apr 2017
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23339
Note: DEV EFG PR
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  1. Pedro Bento & Diego Restuccia, 2017. "Misallocation, Establishment Size, and Productivity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 267-303, July.
  2. José-María Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2016. "Firing Costs, Misallocation, and Aggregate Productivity," NBER Working Papers 23008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Nezih Guner & Andrii Parkhomenko & Gustavo Ventura, 2015. "Managers and Productivity Differences," Working Papers 861, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. François Gourio & Nicolas Roys, 2014. "Size‐dependent regulations, firm size distribution, and reallocation," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5, pages 377-416, July.
  5. Barrett E. Kirwan & Shinsuke Uchida & T. Kirk White, 2012. "Aggregate and Farm-Level Productivity Growth in Tobacco: Before and After the Quota Buyout," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(4), pages 838-853.
  6. Omar D. Bello & Juan S. Blyde & Diego Restuccia, 2011. "Venezuela’s Growth Experience," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 48(2), pages 199-226.
  7. Alain Gabler & Markus Poschke, 2013. "Experimentation by Firms, Distortions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 26-38, January.
  8. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  9. Da Rocha Jose Maria & Pujolas Pau Salvador, 2011. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity: The Role of Idiosyncratic Shocks," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-36, November.
  10. Francisco Buera, 2014. "The Global Diffusion of Ideas," 2014 Meeting Papers 1099, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Buera, Francisco J. & Oberfield, Ezra, 2015. "The Global Diffusion of Ideas," Working Paper Series WP-2016-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Ranasinghe, Ashantha, 2014. "Impact of policy distortions on firm-level innovation, productivity dynamics and TFP," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 114-129.
  13. Jesse Perla & Christopher Tonetti & Jess Benhabib, 2014. "The Growth Dynamics of Innovation, Diffusion, and the Technology Frontier," 2014 Meeting Papers 818, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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