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Firm Turnover and Productivity Growth in the Canadian Retail Trade Sector


  • Baldwin, John R.
  • Gu, Wulong


This paper examines firm turnover and productivity growth in the Canadian retail trade sector. Firm turnover occurs as the competitive process shifts market share from exiting firms and existing firms that contracted to entering firms and existing firms that expanded. There is considerably more firm turnover in the retail sector than in the manufacturing sector and more of it comes from entry and exit. Moreover, contrary to the manufacturing sector where only part of overall productivity growth comes from firm turnover and the re-allocation of resources from the less to the more productive, all of the aggregate productivity growth comes from this source in the retail sector. This suggests that the much-discussed Wal-Mart effect on retail sector productivity mainly comes from the Wal-Mart-created competitive pressure that shifts market share from exitors and declining incumbents to entrants and growing incumbents. Foreign-controlled firms contributed 30% of labour productivity growth and 45% of multifactor productivity growth in the retail trade sector in the period from 1984 to 1996, which are mainly due to the entry of foreign-controlled firms and expansion of more productive foreign-controlled existing firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Baldwin, John R. & Gu, Wulong, 2008. "Firm Turnover and Productivity Growth in the Canadian Retail Trade Sector," Economic Analysis (EA) Research Paper Series 2008053e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  • Handle: RePEc:stc:stcp5e:2008053e

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    2. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," NBER Working Papers 5067, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    4. Baldwin, John R. & Hanel, Peter, 2000. "Multinationals and the Canadian Innovation Process," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2000151e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    5. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    6. Delgado, Miguel A. & Farinas, Jose C. & Ruano, Sonia, 2002. "Firm productivity and export markets: a non-parametric approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 397-422, August.
    7. John R. Baldwin & Wulong Gu, 2006. "Plant turnover and productivity growth in Canadian manufacturing," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 417-465, June.
    8. Baldwin, John R. & Johnson, Joanne, 1995. "Business Strategies in Innovative and Non-innovative Firms in Canada," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995073e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    9. Baldwin, John R. & Diverty, Brent, 1995. "Advanced Technology Use in Canadian Manufacturing Establishments," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1995085e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    10. Baldwin,John R. & Gorecki,Paul With contributions by-Name:Caves,Richard E. With contributions by-Name:Dunne,Tim With contributions by-Name:Haltiwanger,John, 1998. "The Dynamics of Industrial Competition," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521633574, March.
    11. Aw, Bee Yan & Chung, Sukkyun & Roberts, Mark J, 2000. "Productivity and Turnover in the Export Market: Micro-level Evidence from the Republic of Korea and Taiwan (China)," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 14(1), pages 65-90, January.
    12. Baldwin, John R. & Harchaoui, Tarek, 2002. "Productivity Growth in Canada," Productivity Growth in Canada, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division, number stcb6e, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiaobing, Huang & Xiaolian, Liu, 2015. "Exporting firm dynamics and productivity growth: Evidence from China," Economics Discussion Papers 2015-64, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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    Economic accounts; Manufacturing; Productivity accounts; Retail and wholesale;

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