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Misallocation, Establishment Size, and Productivity

Listed author(s):
  • Pedro Bento
  • Diego Restuccia

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.

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File URL: https://www.economics.utoronto.ca/public/workingPapers/tecipa-537.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Toronto, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number tecipa-537.

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Length: Unknown pages
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2015
Handle: RePEc:tor:tecipa:tecipa-537
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  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.
  4. Hernan Moscoso Boedo & Toshihiko Mukoyama, 2012. "Evaluating the effects of entry regulations and firing costs on international income differences," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 143-170, June.
  5. Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia & Jose-Maria Da-Rocha, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," 2014 Meeting Papers 1196, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Barseghyan, Levon & DiCecio, Riccardo, 2011. "Entry costs, industry structure, and cross-country income and TFP differences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(5), pages 1828-1851, September.
  7. Carol Corrado & Jonathan Haskel & Cecilia Jona-Lasinio & Massimiliano Iommi, 2012. "Intangible Capital and Growth in Advanced Economies: Measurement Methods and Comparative Results," Economics Program Working Papers 12-03, The Conference Board, Economics Program.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Corrado, Carol & Haskel, Jonathan & Iommi, Massimiliano & Jona-Lasinio, Cecilia, 2012. "Intangible Capital and Growth in Advanced Economies: Measurement and Comparative Results," CEPR Discussion Papers 9061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Ranasinghe, Ashantha, 2014. "Impact of policy distortions on firm-level innovation, productivity dynamics and TFP," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 114-129.
  15. Peter N. Gal, 2013. "Measuring Total Factor Productivity at the Firm Level using OECD-ORBIS," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1049, OECD Publishing.
  16. 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.
  17. 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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