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Estimating Verdoorn law for Italian firms and regions


  • Fazio, Giorgio
  • Maltese, Enza
  • Piacentino, Davide


In empirical regional economics, returns to scale are typically estimated at the regional level in search for evidence on alternative theories of growth and agglomeration. However, returns to scale may also have a firm-level dimension. In this paper, we exploit micro level data and estimate the dynamic Verdoorn law in a multilevel-setting, where returns to scale are obtained simultaneously for the micro and the regional level. Using Italian firm-level data and the NUTS-3 level of aggregation, we estimate the classic and augmented versions of Verdoorn law for all sectors and separately for manufacturing. Our results show that increasing returns to scale co-exist at both levels, with some degree of regional heterogeneity across the Italian peninsula.

Suggested Citation

  • Fazio, Giorgio & Maltese, Enza & Piacentino, Davide, 2011. "Estimating Verdoorn law for Italian firms and regions," MPRA Paper 35388, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:35388

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ute Pieper, 2003. "Sectoral regularities of productivity growth in developing countries--a Kaldorian interpretation," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(6), pages 831-850, November.
    2. Romina Gambacorta, 2004. "Il dibattito sulla legge di Verdoorn: alcuni risultati empirici usando l’analisi di cointegrazione," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 94(3), pages 251-251, May-June.
    3. Harris, Richard I D & Lau, Eunice, 1998. "Verdoorn's Law and Increasing Returns to Scale in the UK Regions, 1968-91: Some New Estimates Based on the Cointegration Approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(2), pages 201-219, April.
    4. Thirlwall, A P, 1980. "Rowthorn's Interpretation of Verdoorn's Law," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(358), pages 386-388, June.
    5. Emanuele Millemaci & Ferdinando Ofria, 2014. "Kaldor-Verdoorn's law and increasing returns to scale: A comparison across developed countries," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 140-162, January.
    6. R. I. D. Harris & A. Liu, 1999. "Verdoorn's law and increasing returns to scale: country estimates based on the cointegration approach," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 29-33.
    7. Dixon, R & Thirlwall, A P, 1975. "A Model of Regional Growth-Rate Differences on Kaldorian Lines," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 201-214, July.
    8. John S. L. McCombie & Mark Roberts, 2007. "Returns To Scale And Regional Growth: The Static-Dynamic Verdoorn Law Paradox Revisited," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(2), pages 179-208.
    9. Alvaro Angeriz & John McCombie & Mark Roberts, 2008. "New Estimates of Returns to Scale and Spatial Spillovers for EU Regional Manufacturing, 1986—2002," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 31(1), pages 62-87, January.
    10. Ferdinando Ofria, 2009. "L'approccio Kaldor-Verdoorn: una verifica empirica per il Centro-Nord e il Mezzogiorno d'Italia (anni 1951-2006)," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, issue 1, pages 179-207, January-M.
    11. Fingleton, B & McCombie, J S L, 1998. "Increasing Returns and Economic Growth: Some Evidence for Manufacturing from the European Union Regions," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(1), pages 89-105, January.
    12. Rowthorn, R E, 1979. "A Note on Verdoorn's Law," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 89(353), pages 131-133, March.
    13. Young, Allyn A., 1928. "Increasing Returns and Economic Progress," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 38, pages 527-542.
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    16. Destefanis, Sergio, 2002. "The Verdoorn Law: Some Evidence from Non-parametric Frontier Analysis," MPRA Paper 60954, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martinho, Vítor João Pereira Domingues, 2011. "What the keynesian theory said about Portugal?," MPRA Paper 32610, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Millemaci, Emanuele & Ofria, Ferdinando, 2016. "Supply and demand-side determinants of productivity growth in Italian regions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 138-146.

    More about this item


    Returns to scale; Verdoorn Law; Multilevel models; Italian firms;

    JEL classification:

    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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