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Measuring productivity dispersion:Lessons from counting one-hundred million ballots

Ilzetzki, Ethan and Simonelli, Saverio (2017) Measuring productivity dispersion:Lessons from counting one-hundred million ballots. CFM discussion paper series (CFM-DP2017-25). Centre For Macroeconomics, London, UK.

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Abstract

We measure output per worker in nearly 8,000 municipalities in the Italian electoral process using ballot counting times in the 2013 general election and two referenda in 2016. We document large productivity dispersion across provinces in this very uniform and low-skill task that involves nearly no technology and requires limited physical capital. Using a development accounting framework, this measure explains up to half of the firm-level productivity dispersion across Italian provinces and more than half the north-south productivity gap in Italy. We explore potential drivers of our measure of labor efficiency and find that its association with measures of work ethic and trust is particularly robust.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Macroeconomics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: J - Labor and Demographic Economics > J2 - Time Allocation, Work Behavior, and Employment Determination and Creation; Human Capital; Retirement > J24 - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O47 - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output (Income) Convergence
Z - Other Special Topics > Z1 - Cultural Economics; Economic Sociology; Economic Anthropology > Z10 - General
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Macroeconomics
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2017 12:07
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2019 00:50
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86150

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