New Economics Papers
on Efficiency and Productivity
Issue of 2007‒10‒06
twelve papers chosen by

  1. Vertical Industry Relations, Spillovers and Productivity: Evidence from Chilean Plants By Ricardo A. López; Jens Suedekum
  2. The Productivity Effects of Internal and External R&D: Evidence From a Dynamic Panel Data Model By Lokshin, Boris; Belderbos, René; Carree, Martin
  3. Testing the Linkages between Trade and Productivity Growth By Claire Economidou; Antu Panini Murshid
  4. Why Development Levels Differ: The Sources of Differential Economic Growth in a Panel of High and Low Income Countries By Charles R. Hulten; Anders Isaksson
  5. The role of financial markets and innovation in productivity and growth in Europe By Philipp Hartmann; Florian Heider; Elias Papaioannou; Marco Lo Duca
  6. Financial Development and Technology By Solomon Tadesse; ;
  7. R&D and Productivity Growth: A Review of the Literature By Leo Sveikauskas
  8. Self Selection and Post-Entry effects of Exports. Evidence from Italian Manufacturing firms By Francesco Serti; Chiara Tomasi
  9. Environmental Policy, Innovation and Performance: New Insights on the Porter Hypothesis By Paul Lanoie; Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti; Nick Johnstone; Stefan Ambec
  10. How Regulatory Reforms in Sweden have boosted Productivity By Espen Erlandsen; Jens Lundsgaard
  11. Boosting Austria's Innovation Performance By Willi Leibfritz; Jürgen Janger
  12. Liquidity Constraints and Entrepreneurial Performance By Hvide, Hans K; Møen, Jarle

  1. By: Ricardo A. López (Indiana University, Bloomington); Jens Suedekum (University of Konstanz and IZA)
    Abstract: We use disaggregated data on Chilean plants, and the Chilean input-output table to examine the impact of agglomeration spillovers on total factor productivity (TFP). In common with previous studies, we find evidence of intra-industry spillovers, but no evidence of crossindustry spillovers in general. This picture changes, however, when we take vertical industry relations into account. We find important productivity spillover effects from plants in upstream industries. Interestingly, a similar effect cannot be found from plants in downstream industries. The number of plants in these sectors has no effect on firm level TFP, just as the number of plants in other industries that are neither important upstream suppliers nor downstream customers also has no effect. Agglomeration effects are stronger for small than for large plants.
    Keywords: vertical linkages, agglomeration, productivity, Chile
    JEL: R11 R15 O18 O54
    Date: 2007–09
  2. By: Lokshin, Boris (UNU-MERIT); Belderbos, René (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Eindhoven University of Technology); Carree, Martin (University of Maastricht)
    Abstract: We examine the impact of internal and external R&D on labor productivity in a 6-year panel of Dutch manufacturing firms. We apply a dynamic linear panel data model that allows for decreasing or increasing returns to scale in internal and external R&D and for economies of scope. We find complementarity between internal and external R&D, with a positive impact of external R&D only evident in case of sufficient internal R&D. These findings confirm the role of internal R&D in enhancing absorptive capacity and hence the effective utilization of external knowledge. The scope economies due the combination of internal and external R&D are accentuated by decreasing results to scale at high levels of internal and external R&D. The analysis indicates that on average productivity grows by increasing the share of external R&D in total R&D.
    Keywords: R&D, Innovation, Complementarity, Panel Data
    JEL: O32 O33 D24
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Claire Economidou; Antu Panini Murshid
    Abstract: We examine the effect of trade on productivity growth using data from nine manufacturing industries across twelve OECD countries over the period 1978-1997. Since causality between productivity growth and trade share runs both ways, geographical characteristics of countries are used to instrument for average bilateral trade volumes over the 20-year period. In addition, to exploit the time-series nature of the data, we construct a panel data set and employ dynamic panel data techniques. After controlling for industry-specific heterogeneity, our results indicate that increased exposure to trade, in particular higher import volumes, exerts a positive influence on industries’ productivity growth. However, the effect is rather small.
    Keywords: Productivity Growth, Trade, Gravity Model of Trade, Manufacturing Industries
    JEL: F14 F43
    Date: 2007–03
  4. By: Charles R. Hulten; Anders Isaksson
    Abstract: Average income per capita in the countries of the OECD was more than 20 times larger in 2000 than that of the poorest countries of sub-Sahara Africa and elsewhere, and many of the latter are not only falling behind the world leaders, but have even regressed in recent years. At the same time, other low-income countries have shown the capacity to make dramatic improvements in income per capita. Two general explanations have been offered to account for the observed patterns of growth. One view stresses differences in the efficiency of production are the main source of the observed gap in output per worker. A competing explanation reverses this conclusion and gives primary importance to capital formation. We examine the relative importance of these two factors as an explanation of the gap using 112 countries over the period 1970-2000. We find that differences in the efficiency of production, as measured by relative levels of total factor productivity, are the dominant factor accounting for the difference in development levels. We also find that the gap between rich and most poor nations is likely to persist under prevailing rates of saving and productivity change. To check the robustness of these conclusions, we employ different models of the growth process and different assumptions about the underlying data. Although different models of growth produce different relative contributions of capital formation and TFP, we conclude that the latter is the dominant source of gap. This conclusion must, however, be qualified by the poor quality of data for many developing countries.
    JEL: O11 O47 O57
    Date: 2007–10
  5. By: Philipp Hartmann (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Florian Heider (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Elias Papaioannou (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.); Marco Lo Duca (European Central Bank, Kaiserstrasse 29, 60311 Frankfurt am Main, Germany.)
    Abstract: The extended period of limited growth experienced until recently in many European countries raises the issue as to which policies could be most effective in improving their economic performance. This paper argues that further financial sector reforms may be a valuable complement to ongoing efforts to reform labour and product markets. There is a long-standing view in the economic literature that well-functioning financial systems allow economies to exploit the benefits of innovation in terms of productivity and growth. Moreover, measured productivity differentials between Europe and the United States seem to originate particularly in the financial sector and from sectors that are particularly dependent on external financing. Building on and summarising the existing literature, this paper first introduces a number of concepts that are important for financial sector analyses and policies. Second, it presents a selection of indicators describing the efficiency and development of the European financial system from the perspective of a variety of dimensions. Third, an attempt is made to estimate the extent to which greater financial efficiency might improve the allocation of productive capital in Europe. While in the recent past the research and policy debate in Europe has focused on fostering financial integration, the present paper puts the main emphasis on financial development or modernisation in the context of the finance and growth literature. The results suggest that there are a number of ways in which the financial market framework conditions in Europe can be improved to increase the contribution of the financial system to innovation, productivity and growth. The most robust conclusions can be drawn for certain aspects of corporate governance, the efficiency of legal systems in resolving conflicts in financial transactions and some structural features of European bank sectors. For example, econometric estimations indicate that improving these conditions is likely to increase the size of capital markets – a summary measure of overall financial development – and thereby enhance the speed with which the financial system helps to reallocate capital from declining sectors to sectors with good growth potentials. JEL Classification: G00, O16, O43, E61.
    Date: 2007–09
  6. By: Solomon Tadesse; ;
    Abstract: Research in development economics reveals that the bulk of cross-country differences in economic growth is attributable to differences in productivity. By some accounts, productivity contributes to more than 60 percent of countries’ growth in per capita GDP. I examine a particular channel through which financial development could explain cross-country and crossindustry differences in realized productivity. I argue that financial development induces technological innovations – a major stimulus of productivity - through facilitating capital mobilization and risk sharing. In a panel of industries across thirty eight countries, I find that financial development explains the cross-country differences in industry rates of technological progress, rates of real cost reduction and rates of productivity growth. I find that the effect of financial development on productivity and technological progress is heterogeneous across industrial sectors that differ in their needs for financing innovation. In particular, industries whose younger firms depend more on external finance realize faster rate of technological change in countries with more developed banking sector.
    Keywords: Financial Development, Productivity Growth, Technological Progress, Innovation
    JEL: G1 G21 G32 E44 O14 O31 O34 O4
    Date: 2007–06–01
  7. By: Leo Sveikauskas (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the literature on R&D to provide guidelines for recent efforts to include R&D in the national income accounts. The main conclusions are: 1. Measures of R&D as an asset held by a particular owner must be complemented by estimates of the spillover effect of R&D in order to obtain a reliable measure of the overall effect of R&D on productivity growth. 2. If research financed by the government and research financed by business are both counted as investment, some double counting occurs and growth accounting analysis overstates the role of research relative to other factors. 3. The overall rate of return to R&D is very large, perhaps 25 percent as a private return and a total of 65 percent for social returns. However, these returns apply only to privately financed R&D in industry. Returns to many forms of publicly financed R&D are near zero. 4. Firm R&D should be allocated to the different industries in which a firm produces, rather than all credited to the firm’s main industry. An allocation procedure is proposed. 5. Much further work needs to be carried out to understand how R&D conducted in the richest countries is transmitted to developing countries. Detailed microeconomic data on firms or establishments in developing nations will be necessary to understand the channels of technology transfer more fully.
    Keywords: R&D Stocks, R&D Spillovers, R&D and Productivity Growth
    JEL: O30 O40
    Date: 2007–09
  8. By: Francesco Serti; Chiara Tomasi
    Abstract: A large body of empirical research suggests the superior performance of exporting firms relative to non exporters. Specifically, firms involved in foreign markets are found to be larger, more productive, more capital and skilled-intensive. This paper provides empirical evidence of the relationship between firm's performances and export behavior in Italian manufacturing firms. Similarly to other empirical studies, we find that exporters are more productive relative to non exporters. Our empirical analysis support the idea that the superior performance of the former is due to a market selection mechanism according to which only the most productive firms are capable of entering international markets. Moreover, we provide empirical evidence on the causal effects of exporting on productivity (and other interesting firm characteristics) by using an econometric approach that combines propensity score matching and Differences in Differences techniques.
    Keywords: Learning by exporting, Export Behavior, Productivity, Matching
    Date: 2007–09–11
  9. By: Paul Lanoie; Jérémy Laurent-Lucchetti; Nick Johnstone; Stefan Ambec
    Abstract: Jaffe and Palmer (1997) present three distinct variants of the so-called Porter Hypothesis. The “weak” version of the hypothesis posits that environmental regulation will stimulate certain kinds of environmental innovations. The “narrow” version of the hypothesis asserts that flexible environmental policy regimes give firms greater incentive to innovate than prescriptive regulations, such as technology-based standards. Finally, the “strong” version posits that properly designed regulation may induce cost-saving innovation that more than compensates for the cost of compliance. In this paper, we test the significance of these different variants of the Porter Hypothesis using data on the four main elements of the hypothesised causality chain (environmental policy, research and development, environmental performance and commercial performance). The analysis is based upon a unique database which includes observations from approximately 4200 facilities in seven OECD countries. In general, we find strong support for the “weak” version, qualified support for the “narrow” version, and qualified support for the “strong” version as well. <P>Jaffe et Palmer (1997) présentent trois variantes distinctes de l’hypothèse de Porter. La version « faible » de l'hypothèse suppose que la réglementation environnementale stimulera l’apparition d’innovations dans le domaine de l’environnement. La version « étroite » de l'hypothèse affirme que les réglementations environnementales flexibles donnent aux firmes une plus grande incitation pour innover que les réglementations rigides, telles que les normes prescrivant une technologie pour une industrie donnée. Enfin, la version « forte » pose qu’une réglementation correctement conçue peut induire davantage de gains en termes d’innovation que de coûts pour se conformer à la règle. Dans cet article, nous examinons la portée de ces différentes variantes de l'hypothèse de Porter en utilisant des données sur les quatre principaux éléments de la chaîne présumée de causalité (politique environnementale, recherche et développement, performance environnementale et performance commerciale). L'analyse est fondée sur une base de données unique qui inclut des observations d'approximativement 4200 établissements dans sept pays de l’OCDE. Nos résultats supportent fortement la version « faible », mais de façon plus mitigée les versions « étroite » et « forte ».
    Keywords: Porter hypothesis, environmental policy, innovation, environmental performance, business performance., hypothèse de Porter, politique environnementale, innovation, performance environnementale, performance financière.
    JEL: L21 M14 Q52 Q55 Q58
    Date: 2007–09–01
  10. By: Espen Erlandsen; Jens Lundsgaard
    Abstract: The economic crisis in the early 1990s prompted action on reforming the Swedish welfare state and its institutions, including deregulation of a wide range of product markets. In that way, Sweden took early action compared to other OECD countries currently struggling with how to make public finances more robust in an ageing context. The reforms that were implemented during the 1990s are now paying off in terms of productivity and GDP growth. Empirical evidence suggests that deregulation has delivered a considerable “productivity dividend”. Although significant progress therefore has been made, renewed regulatory reform is needed to safeguard Sweden’s ambitious public policy goals. Efforts should focus on improving enterprise formation and labour utilisation, as well as on providing better value for money in the public sector by raising its efficiency and delivering high quality services. <P>Comment les réformes réglementaires en Suède ont stimulé la productivité <BR>La crise économique du début des années 90 a servi de catalyseur pour la réforme de l’État providence suédois, qui s’est aussi accompagnée par une vaste libéralisation de des marchés des produits. Ce faisant, la Suède a agi de manière précoce comparée à d'autres pays de l’OCDE qui peinent à trouver une solution pour assainir les finances publiques dans le contexte du vieillissement de la population. Les réformes mises en oeuvre au cours des années 90 se sont révélées payantes en termes de productivité et de croissance du PIB. Les données disponibles suggèrent que la déréglementation s’est soldée par un « dividende de productivité » considérable. Malgré d’importants progrès dans ce domaine, de nouvelles réformes réglementaires sont nécessaires afin de sauvegarder les objectifs de politique publique ambitieux de la Suède. Il faudrait se concentrer sur l’amélioration des conditions de création d’entreprise et une meilleure utilisation de la main d’oeuvre, en plus d’une meilleure valeur ajoutée dans le secteur public en augmentant son efficacité et la qualité des services fournis.
    Keywords: product market regulation, network industries, industrie de réseau, regulatory reforms, réforme réglementaire
    JEL: D40 E20 E60 F40 H11 H40 H60 J20 L11 L50 L51 L53 O47
    Date: 2007–09–24
  11. By: Willi Leibfritz; Jürgen Janger
    Abstract: Enhancing growth through more innovation has become a priority for Austrian policy makers in line with European policies as laid down in the Lisbon Agenda. This paper discusses Austria’s innovation performance, its innovation policies, and general framework conditions for innovation and growth. Austria has increased its R&D spending as a share of GDP over the last ten years, largely reflecting more business R&D, and aims at increasing it further to 3% of GDP by 2010. Innovation activity as measured by output indicators has also improved in various fields, including the number of innovating SMEs. Furthermore, policy instruments and institutions have been improved and a culture of policy evaluation is developing. However, the paper identifies some weaknesses, particularly in general economic framework conditions, which may limit the creation and diffusion of innovation and productivity growth. It suggests focusing more on these framework conditions, notably by strengthening competition in non-manufacturing product markets, such as retail and professional services, reducing the cost of firm creation and improving human capital. It also argues that focusing on a numerical target for R&D spending as an end in itself is very unlikely to be cost effective. With its university reform in 2002, Austria has made a major step in improving the efficiency of tertiary education but more needs to be done. <P>Comment améliorer la performance de l’Autriche en matière d’innovation <BR>Dans le droit fil des politiques européennes prévues par la Stratégie de Lisbonne, le renforcement de la croissance par un surcroît d’innovation est devenu une priorité pour les responsables autrichiens de l’action publique. Nous abordons dans le présent document les performances et les politiques de l’Autriche en matière d’innovation, ainsi que ses conditions-cadres pour l’innovation et la croissance. En pourcentage du PIB, le pays affiche sur la décennie écoulée une augmentation des dépenses de R-D largement imputable à une progression de la R-D dans les entreprises, et s’est fixé pour objectif de l’accroître encore à hauteur de 3 % du PIB d’ici 2010. À l’aune des indicateurs de production, les activités d’innovation ont connu des améliorations dans différents domaines, et le nombre de PME innovantes notamment a progressé. Les autorités ont également fait évoluer les moyens d’action et les institutions publiques, et une culture de l’évaluation des politiques menées se met en place. Nous détaillons cependant quelques points faibles qui, en particulier sous l’angle des conditions-cadres économiques, sont susceptibles de restreindre l’éclosion et la diffusion de l’innovation, ainsi que la croissance de la productivité. Nous suggérons d’axer davantage l’action sur ces conditions-cadres, notamment en renforçant la concurrence sur les marchés de produits non manufacturés tels que le commerce de détail et les services assurés par les professions libérales, en diminuant les coûts liés à la création d’une entreprise et en valorisant le capital humain. Nous indiquons par ailleurs que l’assignation aux dépenses de R-D d’un objectif numérique considéré comme une fin en soi a très peu de chances d’être économiquement rentable. Avec la réforme universitaire engagée en 2002, l’Autriche a franchi une étape cruciale sur la voie de l’amélioration de l’efficience de son enseignement supérieur, mais elle doit encore fournir d’autres efforts.
    Keywords: economic growth, productivity, croissance économique, productivité, competition, innovation, innovation, concurrence, subsidies, research and development, technological change, tertiary education, recherche-développement, changement technologique, enseignement supérieur, subventions
    JEL: H2 J2 O30 O31 O33 O38 Q40 Q43 Q52
    Date: 2007–09–24
  12. By: Hvide, Hans K; Møen, Jarle
    Abstract: If entrepreneurs are liquidity constrained and cannot borrow to operate on an efficient scale, those with more personal wealth should do better than those with less wealth. We investigate this hypothesis using a unique datset from Norway. Consistent with liquidity constraints being present, we find a strong positive relationship between founder prior wealth and start-up size. The relationship between prior wealth and start-up performance, as measured by profitability on assets, increases for the main bulk of the wealth distribution and decreases sharply at the top. We estimate that profitability on assets increases by about 8 percentage points from the 10th to the 75th percentile of the wealth distribution. This suggests an entrepreneurial production function with a region of increasing returns. Liquidity constraints may then stop entrepreneurs from being able to exploit a "hump" in marginal productivity. From the 75th to the 99th percentile returns drops by about 10 percentage points. This suggests that an abundance of liquidity may to do more harm than good.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Household Finance; Private benefits; Start-ups; Wealth
    JEL: E44 G14 L26 M13
    Date: 2007–09

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