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

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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