Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet)

Annual Conference 2018


Economic Growth, Trade and Productivity Dispersion


June 21-22, 2018, Halle (Saale), Germany


Call for Papers

Research has documented that productivity varies considerably across firms. These differences are large and persistent, and exist not only across countries but even within comparably narrowly defined sectors and industries. Why does productivity differ so much across firms? If correctly measured, the ubiquitous differences in productivity post many questions to our understanding of markets: Is competition on output and input markets not functioning? Which internal and external (e.g., institutional) factors to the firm hamper the reallocation of factors of production and the diffusion and adoption of new knowledge and technologies? And what do such barriers imply for welfare and economic growth policies? What role do globalization, trade and new technologies play for productivity and its dispersion?

Questions like these will be discussed at the 14th Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet) conference hosted by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) to be held on June 21-22 2018, in Halle (Saale), Germany. We are calling for papers addressing one or more of these questions. In particular, we encourage submissions of original academic work regarding:

-    measurement of firm productivity, productivity dispersion, and their development over time;
-    firm internal determinants of productivity and productivity dispersion;
-    impact of external factors (e.g., institutions) on productivity and productivity dispersion;
-    impact of globalization of production and GVCs on productivity and productivity dispersion;
-    two-way link between productivity and trade;
-    misallocation of factors of production and barriers to reallocation;
-    impact of innovation and diffusion of knowledge and technologies on productivity and its dispersion;
-    competition and its impact on heterogeneous firms (productivity, R&D and innovation, restructuring, organizational and management changes);
-    price and non-price (e.g., technological) competition;
-    barriers to competition, market selection and productivity growth;
-    competition and market structure;
-    market power, its determinants and its implications for economic growth;
-    the role of financial frictions in productivity, market power and competition.        

Both, empirical cross-country studies, particularly using CompNet data, as well as firm-level research on productivity, competitiveness and misallocation will be given priority.

Confirmed participants include Prof. Ufuk Akcigit (University of Chicago), Prof. Eric Bartelsman (Tinbergen Institute), Prof. Jan De Loecker (KU Leuven) and Prof. Gianmarco Ottaviano (London School of Economics).

Important deadlines:
April 15st, 2018 paper submission (
April 30th, 2018 acceptance decision
May 15st, 2018 final conference program

Other relevant forthcoming events


Policy Implications of Sustained Low Productivity Growth

PIIE, November 9th, Washington DC

The Peterson Institute for International Economics will hold a major research conference on the "Policy Implications of Sustained Low Productivity Growth" on the 9th of November 2017. Several leading policy economists will tackle the question of what the productivity slowdown would mean for the advanced economies over the next two decades, focusing especially on current institutions.

For more details, please check the official conference announcement.


Second Workshop - Empirical research on productivity and innovation

ABDI, January 11-12 2018, Tokyo, Japan

Researchers at the business school of the National University of Singapore (NUS) have created the Productivity Research Network (PRN), in collaboration with the Asian Bureau of Financial and Economic Research (ABFER) and the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). The objective of the Network is to promote empirically based research on productivity drivers for Asia-Pacific countries, via also stimulating more complete firm-level information gathering.

The workshop will provide an opportunity to the members of the network and other invited researchers to discuss state-of-the-art research on productivity, as well as the possibility of establishing concrete collaboration. We expect this meeting to also provide an impetus for improved data collection within the region aimed at fostering the interaction between senior and junior researchers working with firm-level data, and allowing more solid research and policy analysis. In this second workshop, the focus will be on the ways in which market forces can stimulate innovation and spur productivity growth. How do companies in Asia-Pacific cope with new competitive forces and shifts in international supply chains? Do they become more innovative, seek alternative markets, or scale down? What is the role of openness and internationalization? Do new technologies and new business models help the improvement of productivity, the efficiency of R&D spending, and the fostering of innovation? What is the role of finance in promoting innovation and productivity growth?

Deadline for submitting proposals is November 1st, 2017.

For more details, please check the full call for proposals here.


Structural Change, Resource Misallocation and Growth Dynamics in the MENA Region

Open Call for Proposals

ERF is pleased to announce a call for proposals on growth dynamics in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region using firm- and sector-level data. Characterized by relative stagnation and high unemployment, especially for the labor-abundant resource-poor countries within the region, there is little understanding of the determinants of the pace of structural transformation in the region, and its implications for economic growth. At the macro level, long-term growth depended on the extent of allocative efficiency within sectors. Resource misallocation at the firm/sector level can indeed explain productivity differentials across sectors, as well as more aggregately across countries in the region.

Deadline for submitting proposals is August 20, 2017.

For more details, please check the full call for proposals here.



Most recent

Productivity and sectoral reallocation

5th ECB-CBRT conference, October 6 2017, Izmir, Turkey.


Past events

Since its inception, CompNet has hosted and organized several events, conferences and workshops that have seen the participation of prominent scholars and policy-makers. Please find a detailed list at the following link: 

CompNet past events