Economics
Research insight
January 4, 2021

Productivity of Portuguese firms: are exporter firms more productive?

The slowdown in aggregate productivity growth among developed economies is a known fact largely studied at the macroeconomic level. However, increasing scientific attention has been given to the underlying dynamics at the micro scale, and specifically at the firm-level. In the case of Portugal, the productivity slowdown is even more worrying, with the country experiencing a stagnation in labour productivity levels, diverging from most countries of the Eurozone and other member-states of the European Union, which show slower yet positive growth rates.

In this report, we analyse labour productivity and its determinants at the firmlevel. We use a dataset composed by virtually all Portuguese firms for the period 2010- 2018. By utilizing a vast array of productivity determinants as well as a comprehensive dataset, we try to reach a better assessment of the relative contribution of each factor towards a firm’s labour productivity. We found that exporter status has significant and positive contribute for labour productivity, in agreement with previous literature. Furthermore, we also found a negative association between big firms and labour productivity. As for R&D, we found a positive yet inconclusive contribute for labour productivity, given it was not statistically significant. These two findings contradict previous literature, a reason for which we think they should be given a closer look in future research.

Students' authors: Carolina Nunes, João Cordeiro, João Martins

Partners: Planning, Strategy, Evaluation and International Relation of Finance Ministry // GPEARI – Gabinete de Planeamento, Estratégia, Avaliação e Relações Internacionais do Ministério das Finanças

This content was originally published in NovaEconomicsClub's website.

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