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European firm concentration and aggregate productivity

Author

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  • Bighelli, Tommaso
  • Di Mauro, Filippo
  • Melitz, Marc J.
  • Mertens, Matthias

Abstract

This article derives a European Herfindahl-Hirschman concentration index from 15 micro-aggregated country datasets. In the last decade, European concentration rose due to a reallocation of economic activity towards large and concentrated industries. Over the same period, productivity gains from reallocation accounted for 50% of European productivity growth and markups stayed constant. Using country-industry variation, we show that changes in concentration are positively associated with changes in productivity and allocative efficiency. This holds across most sectors and countries and supports the notion that rising concentration in Europe reflects a more efficient market environment rather than weak competition and rising market power.

Suggested Citation

  • Bighelli, Tommaso & Di Mauro, Filippo & Melitz, Marc J. & Mertens, Matthias, 2021. "European firm concentration and aggregate productivity," IWH Discussion Papers 5/2021, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:52021
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Alfaro, Martin & Warzynski, Frederic, 2021. "Trade liberalization with granular firms," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 105(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    allocative efficiency; European market structure; firm concentration; market power; productivity;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D24 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Production; Cost; Capital; Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity; Capacity
    • E25 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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