Essays in firm productivity: trade, geography and recession

Jacob, Nick (2020) Essays in firm productivity: trade, geography and recession. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis answers three research questions in the field of firm-level productivity, drawing on recent empirical frameworks that allow me to use detailed production datasets to simultaneously estimate firm heterogeneities in productivity, consumer demand and price-cost markups.

Trade Reform Redux: Prices, Markups and Product Quality revisits the widely-studied Indian tariff liberalization that began in 1991 to show that rising product price-cost markups, documented in the recent literature are linked to quality upgrading responses to lower tariffs on imported intermediates.

In On The Productivity Advantage of Cities, a co-authored paper, we shed new light on the nature of agglomeration externalities for which most theory focuses on differences in technical ability of firms across space, but for which most evidence relies on productivity measures that may be biased by differences in prices across space. We provide new evidence from France that shows little heterogeneity in the technical efficiency -– the ability to turn a basket of inputs into physical outputs, or what we call quantity TFP -– displayed by firms in dense and less-dense areas, but some heterogeneity in the prices firms are able to charge, as well as a positive correlation between efficient allocation of resources within regions and the density of regions.

And in The UK’s Great Demand Recession, a co-authored paper, we estimate changes in revenue total factor productivity, i.e., TFP estimated using deflated sales data; quantity TFP; consumer demand and other measures for UK firms before, during and after the Great Recession. Our results show weakness in quantity TFP and demand pushed down productivity in manufacturing and services.

This thesis contributes to the existing literature in its use of these datasets and methods to provide new understanding of firms’ responses to a range of economic forces, with implications for both theory and policy in all three settings.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic history and conditions > HC0079 Special topics, A-Z > HC0079.T4 Technological innovations. Technology transfer
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2020 15:47
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2020 15:47
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/94945

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