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Title Distance to Which Frontier? Evidence on Productivity Convergence from International Firm-level Data
Author Eric Bartelsman, Jonathan Haskel, Ralf Martin
Year 2006
Abstract An extensive literature on the convergence of productivity between countries examines whether productivity is pulled towards the frontier country, perhaps due to learning and knowledge spillovers. More recently, studies that acknowledge the wide dispersion of productivity across firms in an industry explore the convergence of firms to the national frontier. This paper combines the two approaches by merging an improved measure of the global frontier, built up from firm-level data, into a firm-level dataset. We find that the national frontier exerts a stronger pull on domestic firms than does the global frontier. However, the pull from the global frontier falls with technological distance, while the pull from the national frontier does not. This result suggests that firms might lag so far technologically that they cannot learn from the global frontier, while they still are able to benefit from domestic, non-technological, knowledge.
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Topic revision: r1 - 10 Feb 2007, JonathanHaskel

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