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Measuring Total Factor Productivity at the Firm Level using OECD-ORBIS


  • Peter N. Gal



Recent OECD research has utilised harmonised cross-country firm level data to explore the contribution of public policies to cross-country differences in productivity, innovation and resource allocation. This paper describes the steps taken to and the trade-offs involved in constructing firm-level total factor productivity (TFP) measures using ORBIS, a cross-country longitudinal firm-level database available from Bureau van Dijk, an electronic publishing firm. First, it shows that not all productivity measures can be calculated using readily available variables for all countries, and presents possible solutions to this problem by using imputations for certain variables. Second, it assesses the accuracy of these imputations on a set of countries where the available data in ORBIS provides a good coverage, for a wide range of TFP measures. Indeed, an extensive comparison of the actual and the imputed values of TFP for those countries suggests that TFP measures using imputations provide a reasonable approximation for the "true" values. Furthermore, to improve representativeness, resampling weights are constructed - which help correcting for the underrepresentation of small firms - while for the sake of international comparability, industry-level PPP conversions are also applied. Finally, as a plausibility check and to illustrate the potential of the database, the paper explores the country-composition of the globally most productive firms, the forces of convergence to the productivity frontier and the impact of regulation on productivity growth, in a sample of 18 OECD countries. Mesurer la productivité totale des facteurs au niveau de l'entreprise à l'aide de la base de données OCDE-ORBIS Des travaux récents de l'OCDE ont utilisé des données harmonisées d’entreprises des pays de l’OCDE afin d’étudier la contribution des politiques publiques aux différences entre pays dans la productivité, l'innovation et l'allocation des ressources. Ce document décrit les mesures prises pour et les compromis impliqués dans la construction des séries au niveau de l’entreprise, de la productivité totale des facteurs (PTF) à l'aide d’ORBIS, une base de données d’entreprises longitudinale mises à disposition par le Bureau van Dijk, une maison d'édition électronique. D'abord, il montre que toutes les mesures de la productivité ne peuvent être calculées à l'aide de variables facilement disponibles dans tous les pays, et présente d’éventuelles solutions à ce problème en utilisant des imputations pour certaines variables. Deuxièmement, il évalue l'exactitude de ces imputations sur un ensemble de pays où les données, disponibles dans ORBIS, offrent une bonne couverture pour un large éventail de mesures de la PTF. En effet, une comparaison approfondie des valeurs réelles et imputées des PTF pour ces pays suggère que les mesures de la PTF, utilisant des imputations, constituent une approximation raisonnable des valeurs «réelles». En outre, afin d'améliorer la représentativité, des poids de rééchantillonnage ont été construits – afin d’aider à corriger la sous-représentativité des petites entreprises - pour des raisons de comparabilité internationale, des conversions en PPP ont également été appliquées au niveau des industries. Enfin, comme contrôle de plausibilité et pour illustrer le potentiel de la base de données, ce document examine la composition pays des entreprises les plus productives au niveau mondial, les forces de convergence vers la frontière de la productivité et l'impact de la réglementation sur la croissance de la productivité, dans un échantillon de 18 pays de l'OCDE.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter N. Gal, 2013. "Measuring Total Factor Productivity at the Firm Level using OECD-ORBIS," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1049, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:1049-en
    DOI: 10.1787/5k46dsb25ls6-en

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    More about this item


    analyses comparatives entre pays; cross-country analysis; données sur les entreprises; firm level data; mesure de la productivité; productivity measurement;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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