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Explaining TFP at firm level in Italy. Does location matter?

Aiello, Francesco and Pupo, Valeria and Ricotta, Fernanda (2011): Explaining TFP at firm level in Italy. Does location matter?

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Abstract

This study analyses how firms' internal variables and regional factors affect Total Factor Productivity (TFP) of Italian manufacturing firms. Due to the hierarchical structure of our data, we employ a multilevel model that allows for a clear distinction between firm and region-specific effects. Results refer to 2004-2006 and show, as expected, the importance of firm-specific determinants of TFP. At the same time, they indicate that location matters, in the sense that the context where firms operate plays a crucial role in determining the level of TFP. In more detail, we find that the regional endowment of infrastructure, the efficiency of local administration and the investments in R&D exert a positive effect on firms' performance. We also argue that regional gaps in the endowment of these factors help to understand the dualistic nature of the Italian economy, where a wealthy North coexists with a less developed South.

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