Some Rise by Sin, and Some by Virtue Fall: Firm Dynamics, Market Structure and Performance

Produced for the Ministry of Economic Development, as a MED Occasional Paper 08-01

This paper investigates the microeconomic dynamics of the New Zealand economy using a powerful new SNZ-held dataset. For the first time, tax data covering operating performance and position (IR10), company income declarations (IR4) and sales & purchases (GST) have been combined with firm-level (LEED) employment data and Customs merchandise trade data to create a full coverage Longitudinal Business Database (LBD).

We use this data to expand the available set of firm performance measures to include multi-factor productivity, profitability and export intensity. These and other performance variables are used to examine the distribution and dynamic of New Zealand firm performance, focussing on the characteristics of firms that display superior or inferior firm-level outcomes.