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Measuring Productivity Dispersion

Author

Listed:
  • Eric J. Bartelsman

    () (VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

  • Zoltan Wolf

    () (US Bureau of the Census, USA)

Abstract

Measuring the dispersion of productivity or efficiency across firms in a market or industry is rife with methodological issues. Nevertheless, the existence of considerable dispersion now is well documented and widely accepted. Less well understood are the economic features and mechanisms underlying the magnitude of dispersion and how dispersion varies over time or across markets. On the one hand, selection mechanisms in both output and input markets should favor the most productive units through resource reallocation, thereby reducing dispersion. On the other hand, innovation and technological uncertainty tend to increase dispersion. This chapter presents a guide to measurement of dispersion and provides empirical evidence from a selection of countries and industries using a variety of methodologies.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric J. Bartelsman & Zoltan Wolf, 2017. "Measuring Productivity Dispersion," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-033/VI, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20170033
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    File URL: https://papers.tinbergen.nl/17033.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gonzales-Rocha, Erick & Mendez-Guerra, Carlos, 2018. "Increasing productivity dispersion: Evidence from light manufacturing in Brazil," MPRA Paper 88478, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Corrado, Carol & Haskel, Jonathan & Jona-Lasinio, Cecilia, 2019. "Productivity growth, capital reallocation and the financial crisis: Evidence from Europe and the US," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 1-1.
    3. Bańbura, Marta & Albani, Maria & Ambrocio, Gene & Bursian, Dirk & Buss, Ginters & de Winter, Jasper & Gavura, Miroslav & Giordano, Claire & Júlio, Paulo & Le Roux, Julien & Lozej, Matija & Malthe-Thag, 2018. "Business investment in EU countries," Occasional Paper Series 215, European Central Bank.
    4. Matteo Richiardi & Luis Valenzuela, 2019. "Firm Heterogeneity and the Aggregate Labour Share," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 166, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
    5. Alexander Schiersch & Caroline Stiel, 2020. "Testing the Superstar Firm Hypothesis," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1849, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    6. Thomas von Brasch & Diana-Cristina Iancu & Terje Skjerpen, 2017. "Productivity dispersion and measurement errors," Discussion Papers 869, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Productivity; Firm-level data; dispersion; volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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