Productivity Distribution, Firm Heterogeneity, and Agglomeration: Evidence from firm-level data

Author Name OKUBO Toshihiro  (Kobe University) /TOMIURA Eiichi  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2010 10-E-017
Research Project Study on Offshore Outsourcing by Japanese Firms
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This paper empirically examines how productivity distributions of firms vary across regions based on Japan’s manufacturing census data. We confirm the established finding of higher average productivity in core regions, but find that firm productivity is distributed with wide dispersions, especially in core regions. Our firm-level estimates demonstrate that the productivity distribution of firms tends to be noticeably left-skewed deviating from the normal distribution, especially in regions with weak market potential but also in agglomerated or urbanized regions. These findings suggest that agglomeration economies are likely to accommodate heterogeneous firms to co-exist in the same region.