CeNDEF Seminar: Glenn Magerman (Université Libre de Bruxelles)

14Mar2018 16:00 - 17:15


'The Origins of Firm Heterogeneity: A Production Network Approach' (with Andrew B. Bernard, Emmanuel Dhyne, Kalina Manova and Andreas Moxnes)


This paper quantifies the origins of  firm size heterogeneity when  firms are interconnected in a production network. We document new stylized facts about the universe of buyer-supplier relationships among all  firms in Belgium during 2002-2014. These facts motivate a model in which  firms buy inputs from upstream suppliers and sell to downstream buyers and  final demand. Firms can be large not only because they have high production capability (i.e. productivity or product quality), but also because they interact with more, better and larger buyers and suppliers, and because they are better matched to their buyers and suppliers. The model delivers an exact decomposition of  firm size into upstream and downstream margins with  firm, buyer/supplier and match components. We establish three empirical results. First, downstream factors explain the vast majority of  firm size heterogeneity, while upstream factors are only one fourth as important. Second, nearly all the variation on the downstream side is driven by network sales to other  firms rather than  final demand. By contrast, most of the variation on the upstream side re flects own production capability rather than network purchases from input suppliers. Third, most of the variance in network sales is determined by the number of buyers and the allocation of sales towards well-matched buyers of high quality, rather than by average buyer capability. By contrast, most of the variance in network purchases comes from average supplier capability and the allocation of purchases towards well-matched suppliers of high quality, rather than from the number of suppliers

Please contact Anita Kopanyi-Peuker if you have any questions about the lecture.


Room 1.60
Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam
Gustav Mahlerplein 117
1082MS Amsterdam

Published by  Economics and Business