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An Analysis of Productivity Performance in Spain Before and During the Crisis: Exploring the Role of Institutions

  • Juan S. Mora Sanguinetti
  • Andrés Fuentes

The Spanish economy experienced significantly weaker labour productivity growth than other OECD economies and failed to catch up with the most advanced economies in the period 1996-2007. In recent years labour productivity growth has accelerated, but this recovery is likely to be due to cyclical and temporary factors. The aim of this paper is to identify what factors weigh on weak trend productivity growth. The relatively weak performance largely reflects the low growth of total factor productivity within a wide range of sectors, with very limited impact of composition effects, while the capital stock and educational attainment of the workforce have grown relatively strongly. The paper investigates the role of some institutions in deterring innovation, competition and the growth of successful firms. It argues that Spain needs to have a more flexible labour market and collective bargaining system to improve productivity performance. Productivity performance would also benefit from a more flexible business environment in such a way that both entry and exit of firms in the economy are less costly, including a reform of bankruptcy legislation, steps to make civil judicial procedures more efficient and a greater reduction of barriers to entry into the retail trade sector. Analyse de la performance de la productivité en Espagne avant et durant la crise : Le rôle des institutions L’économie espagnole a enregistré une croissance nettement plus faible de la productivité du travail que les autres économies de l’OCDE et elle n’a pas réussi à rattraper les économies les plus avancées sur la période 1996-2007. Ces dernières années, la croissance de la productivité du travail s’est accélérée, mais ce redressement est vraisemblablement dû à des facteurs conjoncturels et temporaires. L’objet de cette étude est d’identifier les facteurs qui pèsent sur la croissance de la productivité. La faiblesse relative de la performance reflète en grande partie la médiocre progression de la productivité totale des facteurs dans un large éventail de secteurs, avec un impact très limité des effets de composition, alors que le stock de capital et le niveau de formation de la main-d’oeuvre ont assez fortement progressé. Cette étude examine dans quelle mesure certains dispositifs institutionnels ont joué contre l’innovation, la concurrence et le développement d’entreprises prospères. L’Espagne, est-il observé, doit pouvoir s’appuyer sur un marché du travail et un système de négociations collectives plus flexibles pour améliorer sa performance en termes de productivité. La performance sur le plan de la productivité bénéficierait aussi de davantage de flexibilité dans l’environnement des entreprises, de façon qu’aussi bien les entrées que les sorties d’entreprises de l’économie soient moins coûteuses, ce qui suppose une réforme de la législation sur les faillites, des mesures pour rendre les procédures judiciaires au civil plus efficientes et un abaissement plus marqué des barrières à l’entrée dans le secteur du commerce de détail.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 973.

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Date of creation: 30 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:973-en
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