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Nordic Economic Policy Review

Productivity and competitiveness

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The Nordic Economic Policy Review is published by the Nordic Council of Ministers and addresses policy issues in a way that is useful for in-formed non-specialists as well as for professional economists. All articles are commissioned from leading professional economists and are subject to peer review prior to publication. The review appears twice a year. The journal is distributed free of charge to the members of the Nordic economic associations. The easiest way to subscribe to the NEPR is therefore to become a member of one of these associations, i.e., Denmark: Nationaløkonomisk Forening Finland: Taloustieteellinen Yhdistys Norway: Samfunnsøkonomene Sweden: Nationalekonomiska Föreningen. For institutional subscriptions, please contact [email protected] Content: The widening productivity gap between the EU and the US: An introduction to the conference on productivity and competitiveness - Jakob B. Madsen and Anders Sørensen Up the hill and down again: A history of Europe’s productivity gap relative to the United States, 1950-2009 - Bart van Ark Comment by Matti Pohjola Regulation, resource reallocation and productivity growth - Jens Matthias Arnold, Giuseppe Nicoletti and Stefano Scarpetta Comment by Mika Maliranta Human capital and productivity - Angel de la Fuente Comment by Pekka Ilmakunnas Productivity and international firm activities: What do we know? - Joachim Wagner Comment by Markku Stenborg Innovation and productivity - Bronwyn H. Hall Comment by Ari Hyytinen A personnel economics approach to productivity enhancement - Edward P. Lazear and Kathryn L. Shaw Comment by Tuomas Pekkarinen Productivity and education: Benchmarking of elementary and lower secondary schools in Denmark - Peter Bogetoft and Jesper Wittrup Comment by Timo Kuosmanen

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Regulation, resource reallocation and productivity growth

We review theory and evidence on the links between anti-competitive product market regulations, the efficiency in resource allocation and productivity growth. We show large differences of regulations across countries and industries over time. We argue that such differences have played an important role in driving resource allocation and productivity outcomes. Countries and industries where regulatory burdens are lighter have experienced higher GDP per capita and productivity growth rates. Moreover, where such burdens are lighter, reallocation of resources towards the highest productivity firms is stronger. Since the impacts of inappropriate regulations on productivity performance are quantitatively important, reforming such regulations can provide a significant boost to potential growth in OECD economies.

English

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