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Misallocation, Establishment Size, and Productivity

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  • Pedro Bento
  • Diego Restuccia

Abstract

We construct a new dataset using census, survey, and registry data from hundreds of sources to document a clear positive relationship between development and average establishment size in manufacturing across 134 countries. We rationalize this relationship using a standard model of reallocation among production units that features endogenous entry and productivity investment. The model connects small operational scales to the prevalence in poor countries of correlated distortions (the elasticity between wedges and establishment productivity). The model also rationalizes the finding in poor countries of low establishment-level productivity and low aggregate productivity investment. A calibrated version of the model implies that when correlated distortions increase from 0.09 in the U.S. to 0.5 in India, establishment size and establishment-level productivity fall by more than 82 percent and aggregate productivity falls by around 70 percent. Relative to the existing literature, these substantial size and productivity effects are more in line with cross-country data.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Bento & Diego Restuccia, 2015. "Misallocation, Establishment Size, and Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-537, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-537
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tasso Adamopoulos & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "The Size Distribution of Farms and International Productivity Differences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1667-1697, June.
    2. Klaus Desmet & Stephen Parente, 2012. "The evolution of markets and the revolution of industry: a unified theory of growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 205-234, September.
    3. Rubini, Loris, 2014. "Innovation and the trade elasticity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 32-46.
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    5. Nicolas Ziebarth, 2013. "Are China and India Backwards? Evidence from the 19th Century U.S. Census of Manufactures," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 86-99, January.
    6. Dhritman Bhattacharya & Nezih Guner & Gustavo Ventura, 2013. "Distortions, Endogenous Managerial Skills and Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 11-25, January.
    7. Haskel, J & Corrado, C & Jona-Lasinio, C & Iommi, M, 2012. "Intangible capital and growth in advanced economies: measurement methods and comparative results," Working Papers 9913, Imperial College, London, Imperial College Business School.
    8. Nicholas Bloom & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2010. "Why Do Firms in Developing Countries Have Low Productivity?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 619-623, May.
    9. Alain Gabler & Markus Poschke, 2013. "Experimentation by Firms, Distortions, and Aggregate Productivity," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 16(1), pages 26-38, January.
    10. Jose Maria Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-523, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    11. POSCHKE, Markus, 2011. "The Firm Size Distribution across Countries and Skill-Biased Change in Entrepreneurial Technology," Cahiers de recherche 08-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    12. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2014. "The Life Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1035-1084.
    13. Baldwin, John R. & Gu, Wulong & Lafrance, Amelie & Macdonald, Ryan, 2009. "Investment in Intangible Assets in Canada: R&D, Innovation, Brand, and Mining, Oil and Gas Exploration Expenditures," The Canadian Productivity Review 2009026e, Statistics Canada, Economic Analysis Division.
    14. Carol Coorado & Jonathan Haskel & Cecilia Iona Lasinio & Massimiliano Iommi, 2012. "Intangible Capital and Growth Strategies for Advanced Economies: Measurement and Comparative Results," Working Papers LuissLab 12101, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. José-María Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2016. "Firing Costs, Misallocation, and Aggregate Productivity," NBER Working Papers 23008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ranasinghe, Ashantha, 2017. "Property rights, extortion and the misallocation of talent," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 86-110.
    3. Jose Maria Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-523, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    4. Enrique Moral-Benito, 2018. "Growing by learning: firm-level evidence on the size-productivity nexus," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 65-90, March.
    5. repec:eee:dyncon:v:85:y:2017:i:c:p:46-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Trade and productivity: The family connection redux," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 276-291.
    7. repec:ksa:szemle:1738 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Stephen Ayerst, 2016. "Idiosyncratic Distortions and Technology Adoption," Working Papers tecipa-571, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    9. Tomohiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2017. "Market Access, Technology, and Plant Lifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Japan's Opening to Trade in 1859," CIGS Working Paper Series 17-011E, The Canon Institute for Global Studies.
    10. Tomohiro Machikita & Tetsuji Okazaki, 2017. "Market Access, Technology, and Plant Lifecycles: A Natural Experiment from Japan’s Opening to Trade in 1859," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1068, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    11. Diego Restuccia, 2018. "Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity across Time and Space," Working Papers tecipa-608, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    12. Nezih Guner & Andrii Parkhomenko & Gustavo Ventura, 2018. "Managers and Productivity Differences," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 29, pages 256-282, July.
    13. Fernandes, Ana M. & Freund, Caroline & Pierola, Martha Denisse, 2016. "Exporter behavior, country size and stage of development: Evidence from the exporter dynamics database," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 121-137.
    14. Wenbiao Cai, 2015. "Technology, Policy Distortions and the Rise of Large Farms," Departmental Working Papers 2015-03, The University of Winnipeg, Department of Economics.
    15. Manuel García-Santana & Roberto Ramos, 2015. "Distortions and the size distribution of plants: evidence from cross-country data," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 279-312, August.
    16. repec:bpj:bejeap:v:17:y:2017:i:4:p:17:n:14 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Oguzoglu Umut & Ranasinghe Ashantha, 2017. "Crime and Establishment Size: Evidence from South America," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(4), pages 1-17, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    misallocation; establishment size; productivity; investment; idiosyncratic distortions.;

    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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