ICBER 2024

The 14th International Conference on Business and Economics Research


  • July 19-21, 2024
  • Beijing University of Technology, China
  • 北京工业大学,中国 北京

Invited Speakers

Prof. Jenny Oliveros Lao Phillips, University of Saint Joseph (USJ), China

Jenny Oliveros Lao Phillips is an Associate Professor of Human and Social Sciences at the University of Saint Joseph (USJ). She has been the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Law since 2018. Prof. Phillips held a PhD in Business Administration from USJ in 2015 and was awarded the highest honour of Summa cum Laude. With an MBA in General Management jointly awarded by the Inter-University Institute of Macau and the Catholic University of Portugal (2003), an MA in English Studies: Literature Specialization from the University of Macau (2007), and a Bachelor in Tourism Business from the Institute for Tourism Studies (2000), Prof. Phillips has been teaching a wide range of courses for the past 19 years including Creativity Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Managing Social Service Organizations, Product Design and Development, Family Business Management, Marketing for Entrepreneurs, Global Strategic Management, Literature and Creative Writing, to name a few. Prof. Phillips is also a Cantonese-English interpreter, a translator, a writer and a poet. She wrote the column “Made in Macao” in the Macau Daily Times on the culture and tradition of Macao. Her research interests and publications include organisational behaviour, innovation and entrepreneurship, social enterprises, family businesses, government studies, Macao’s tourism industry, and theatre studies.


Assoc. Prof. Karoly Miklos Kiss, University of Pannonia, Hungary

Károly Miklós Kiss is an Associate Professor of economics at University of Pannonia (UoP) and a senior research fellow at HUN-REN Centre for Economic and Regional Studies. He has been the Head of Department of Economics at UoP, Head of Applied Economics Research Unit at UoP and Head of Economics of Networks Research Unit at the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Prof. Kiss is a Panel Member of the Hungarian National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Economics Panel), Member of Hungarian Economic Association, Member of Hungarian Society of Economists, Member of International Atlantic Economic Society. Prof. Kiss held a PhD in Economics from University of Pannonia in 2009 and was awarded the highest honour of Summa cum Laude. He holds a BSc and MSc in Economics from the Corvinus University Budapest. Prof. Kiss has been teaching a wide range of undergraduate, graduate and PhD courses at several universities related to Microeconomics, Industrial Organization, Theories of markets and competition, Economics of Networks, Economics of Regulation, Competition Policy, Economics of Information. His research is focused on Industrial Organization, Economics of regulation (mostly in network industries and public utilities), Economics of networks, Economics of Information (asymmetrical information). Prof. Kiss has participated, led and coordinated several international and national research projects, including for the Hungarian Communications Authority, the Hungarian Competition Authority and ministries.

Title: Large Intra-Industry Productivity Gaps Between Firms: Can They Persist and What Can Reduce Them?

Abstract: Economic theory suggests that productivity differences between firms in different markets or industries cannot persist in the long term. Theoretical models of competition and market theory show that competitive pressure drives inefficient firms out of the market, so that in the long run there should not be significant productivity differences. Nevertheless, many empirical studies on productivity show that high productivity differences persist between firms, even within narrowly defined industries. Syverson (2004) reports that in the U.S. manufacturing sectors, the productivity of the top ten percent (p90) of firms is twice the productivity of the lowest ten percent (p10) of firms on average, and it is even higher in some sectors. According to Hsieh and Klenow (2009), in China and India, the average p90-p10 productivity range is 5:1.
Productivity gaps can be reduced under competitive pressure through two mechanisms: due to market entries and exits, or through learning (technology transfer) between firms. On the one hand, competition can force inefficient firms to exit, leaving only companies with similar high efficiency in the market. This approach concentrates on the lack or constrains of market competition in explaining these large and persistent productivity differences, proxied by the dynamics of exits and entries (Syverson 2004, 2011), or competition advantages due to export activities (Melitz 2003). For example, Syverson (2004) examines the impact of spatial substitutability in product markets. In their study, they find that where producers are spatially densely clustered in a market, consumers can more easily switch between suppliers, which increases the intensity of competition locally and that an increase in this substitutability crowds out less efficient firms, leading to higher minimum and average productivity levels and lower productivity dispersion.
Alternatively, competition may force inefficient firms to learn from more productive ones, so that they catch up with highly productive firms through knowledge and technology transfer between firms. There are several channels for knowledge and technology transfer between firms: R&D links between firms, supplier (vertical) links, or labour flows between firms. Following Arrow (1962), worker mobility has long been considered a major source of knowledge flow across firms: the hiring firm benefits from the embodied knowledge and skills of incoming labor, which has a positive effect on wages and productivity in the target company (Almeida and Kogut 1999; Zucker, Darby, and Torero 2002; Palomeras and Melero 2010; Stoyanov and Zubanov 2012) (Balsvik 2011; Poole 2013; Csáfordi et al. 2020). This suggests that knowledge transfers between firms can decrease productivity differences, while constraints to knowledge transfers can explain why productivity differences sustain. In this lecture I examine how the intensity and structure of labor mobility network between firms is associated with the productivity dispersion of industries. In empirical investigation, I use econometric analysis of the Hungarian administrative and firm data on labor mobility and productivity dispersion (using a Hungarian administrative data integration database, which is an anonymized employer-employee linked panel dataset created by matching five administrative data sources). I argue that it is not only the existence of labour flows between firms that is of interest, but also the structure of this channel of knowledge transfer, how it links firms in the industry. I apply panel regression models with dependent variable TFP (total factor productivity) range (p90-p10 and p75-p25, normalized by TFP median) of firms within each industry. Explanatory variables are network characteristics of labor mobility within an industry and also between industries.

Keywords: labor mobility network, firm productivity, knowledge spillover, network characteristics, density, diversity
JEL codes: D22, J24, J60, M51
Acknowledgement: The research project was financed by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (K 135195).