Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 15 No. 3 (Summer 2001)


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International Productivity Comparisons Built from the Firm Level

Article Citation

Baily, Martin Neil, and Robert M. Solow. 2001. "International Productivity Comparisons Built from the Firm Level." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 15(3): 151-172.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.15.3.151


International productivity comparisons can be built up with micro and macro data. Studies of firms or groups of firms producing similar outputs reveal the deeper causes of differences in productivity across countries. The studies find that such differences often depend on patterns of organization within firms, the motivations of managers and the like. The intensity of domestic and international competition can have a large impact on productivity. The case of retailing illustrates the importance of industry evolution. High productivity retailing formats drive out traditional retailers, unless restrained by land-use restrictions or regulations.

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Baily, Martin Neil (Institute for International Econ, Washington, DC)
Solow, Robert M. (MIT)

JEL Classifications

D24: Production; Cost; Capital and Total Factor Productivity; Capacity
O47: Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence


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