Benchmarking New Zealand's Frontier Firms
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
New Zealand has experienced poor productivity performance over the last two decades. Factors often cited as reasons behind this are the small size of the domestic market and distance to international partners and markets. While the distance reason is one that is fairly insurmountable, there are a number of other small advanced economies that also face similar domestic market constraints. This study compares the relative performance of New Zealand’s firms to those economies using novel cross-country microdata from CompNet. We present stylised facts for New Zealand relative to the economies of Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands and Sweden based on average productivity levels, as well as benchmarking laggard, median and frontier firms. This research also employs an analytical framework of technology diffusion to evaluate the extent of productivity convergence, and the impact of the productivity frontier on non-frontier firm performance. Additionally, both labour and capital resource allocation are compared between New Zealand and the other small advanced economies. Results show that New Zealand’s firms have comparatively low productivity levels and that its frontier firms are not benefiting from the diffusion of best technologies outside the nation. Furthermore, there is evidence of labour misallocation in New Zealand based on less labour-productive firms having disproportionally larger employment shares than their more productive counterparts. Counter-factual analysis illustrates that improving both technology diffusion from abroad toward New Zealand’s frontier firms, and labour allocation across firms within New Zealand will see sizable productivity gains in New Zealand.
Four Research Clusters ...
Capital Misallocation and Innovation
SSRN Solutions Research Paper Series,
This paper documents that "zombie" lending by undercapitalized banks distorts competition and impedes corporate innovation. This misallocation of capital prevents both the exit of zombie and entry of healthy firms in affected industries adversely impacting output and competition. Worse, capital misallocation depresses patent applications, particularly in high technology- and R&D-intensive sectors, and industries with neck- and-neck competition. We strengthen our results using an IV approach to address reverse causality and innovation survey data from the European Commission. Overall, our results are consistent with externalities imposed on healthy firms through the misallocation of capital.
Trade, Misallocation, and Capital Market Integration
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
I study how cross-country capital market integration affects the gains from trade in a model with financial frictions and heterogeneous, forward-looking firms. The model predicts that misallocation among exporters increases as trade barriers fall, even as misallocation decreases in the aggregate. The reason is that financially constrained productive exporters increase their production only marginally, while unproductive exporters survive for longer and increase their size. Allowing capital inflows magnifies misallocation, because unproductive firms expand even more, leading to a decline in aggregate productivity. Nevertheless, under integrated capital markets, access to cheaper capital dominates the adverse effect on productivity, leading to higher output, consumption and welfare than under closed capital markets. Applied to the period of European integration between 1992 and 2008, I find that underdeveloped sectors experiencing higher export exposure had more misallocation of capital and a higher share of unproductive firms, thus the data is consistent with the model’s predictions. A key implication of the model is that TFP is a poor proxy for consumption growth after trade liberalisation.
Private Debt, Public Debt, and Capital Misallocation
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
Does finance facilitate efficient allocation of resources? Our aim in this paper is to find out whether increases in private and public indebtedness affect capital misallocation, which is measured as the dispersion in the return to capital across firms in different industries. For this, we use a novel dataset containing industrylevel data for 18 European countries and control for different macroeconomic indicators as potential determinants of capital misallocation. We exploit the within-country variation across industries in such indicators as external finance dependence, technological intensity, credit constraints and competitive structure, and find that private debt accumulation disproportionately increases capital misallocation in industries with higher financial dependence, higher R&D intensity, a larger share of credit-constrained firms and a lower level of competition. On the other hand, we fail to find any significant and robust effect of public debt on capital misallocation within our country-sector pairs. We believe the distortionary effects of private debt found in our analysis needs a deeper theoretical investigation.
The CompNet Competitiveness Database The Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)...
26.11.2015 • 43/2015
Political lendings of German Savings Banks
A recent paper of the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) suggests that German local politicians take advantage of their influence on the credit decisions of German savings banks. “German savings banks on average increase the supply of commercial loans by €7.6 million in the year of a local election”, says IWH president Reint E. Gropp. Loans that the savings banks generate during election years also perform worse and lead to lower interest income. The results suggest that local politicians take advantage of savings banks to further their chances of re-election.
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What are the Long-Term Benefits of the Economic Stimulus Package II for German Local Governments? – The Case of Saxony
Wirtschaft im Wandel,
This article deals with the question whether the investments subsidized by the economic stimulus package II („Konjunkturpaket II“) do not only have short-term effects on demand but also long-term effects e.g. on local economic growth. As far as the short-term effects are concerned, the case of the German state of Saxony shows – with some delay – a rise in local government´s investments. Hence, the time-lag problem inherent in all governmental spending programmes seems to keep within reasonable limits. Up to now there have been no signs of inflationary price tendencies in the construction sector.
According to - for example - the „new“ economic growth theory, one ought to be sceptical about the long-term effects of the projects supported by the programme: Even for genuine public intermediate goods the withdrawal effects of financing have to be weighed against the positive effects on private enterprise sector productivity. Furthermore, the effects on factor prices caused by the investment grants might encourage the excess use of physical capital in public production.
This sceptical attitude of the theory is confirmed for Saxony by the fact that primarily public consumption goods (sports and leisure facilities) or educational facilities (kindergartens, primary schools), which are of no direct relevance to the local enterprises, are supported by the programme. Investments in vocational training, research and development play only a minor role at the local government level or are explicitly excluded from the programme.
Especially because of the incentives to misallocate public resources it is recommended to rely on unconditional grants in future support programmes. Then the local governments could use the grants for either „investments” in human capital (new [fixed-term contract] hires, qualification) or in physical capital, according to their needs.
Effects of the promotion of investment in East Germany
IWH Discussion Papers,
Investment in East Germany is heavily subsidized. Econometric estimates based on a treatment approach show that the level of investment is significantly higher in firms being supported by state aid. Nevertheless, capital productivity is lower in East Germany, indicating a misallocation of capital. Additionally, there are negative effects in West Germany due to negative crowding-out effects. Therefore state aid in East Germany should be reduced in the medium run.
Misallocation of capital as a result of asymmetric distribution of information on credit markets
Schriften des IWH,