Benjamin Ferschli
Miriam Rehm
Matthias Schnetzer
Stella Zilian

digitalization, industry concentration, and productivity in germany

This paper investigates the links of digitalization and industry concentration with labor productivity at the sectoral level in Germany. Combining data for digitalization and labor productivity from the EU KLEMS database with firm-level data from the CompNet and Orbis Bureau Van Dijk databases to construct market industry concentration measures between 2000 to 2015, we show that (1) the German economy appears to have digitized since 2000, and (2) there is no clear-cut relationship between digitalization and market concentration at the sectoral industry level. Using a time and sector fixed effects model and controlling for capital intensity, however, we find evidence for (3) a positive effect of both lagged industry concentration and lagged digitalization on productivity at the sectoral level in Germany. This finding is robust to alternative measures of digitalization and industry concentration as well as to their interaction, but sensitive to the sector sample and to scale effects from capital intensity. We therefore cautiously conclude that recent technological change appears to have been labor-saving, and that – more cautiously – productivity-enhancing aspects of a partial “superstar firm” -effect may be identified in the German economy, in particular in its strong manufacturing sector.

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Suggested Citation

Ferschli, Benjamin; Rehm, Miriam; Schnetzer, Matthias; Zilian, Stella (2021): Digitalization, Industry Concentration, and Productivity in Germany. Version: 1. Journal of Economics and Statistics. Dataset.

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