The Role of Policy and Institutions for Productivity and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Micro and Industry Data
OECD Economics Department Working Paper No. 329
63 Pages Posted: 6 May 2002
Date Written: April 22, 2002
This paper presents empirical evidence on the role that policy and institutional settings in both product and labour market play for productivity and firm dynamics. It exploits a new firm-level database for ten OECD countries and industry-level data for a broader set of countries, together with a set of indicators of regulation and institutional settings in product and labour markets. Aggregate productivity patterns are largely the result of within-firm performance. But, the contribution from firm dynamic processes should not be overlooked, most notably in high-tech industries where new firms tend to play an important role. Industry productivity performance is negatively affected by strict product market regulations, especially if there is a significant technology gap with the technology leader. Likewise, high hiring and firing costs seem to hinder productivity, especially when these costs are not offset by lower wages and/or more internal training. Moreover, burdensome regulations on entrepreneurial activity as well as high costs of adjusting the workforce seem to negatively affect the entry of new small firms. Our data also suggest different features of entrant and exiting firms across countries. In particular, in the U.S., entrant firms tend to be smaller and with lower than average productivity, but those which survive the initial years expand rapidly. By contrast, firms tend to enter with a relatively higher size in Europe but do not expand significantly subsequently.
Keywords: micro and industry data, productivity, firm dynamics, regulations, institutions
JEL Classification: O12, O57, L50, C33
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