This paper examines the role of removing obstacles to competition in product markets in raising growth and productivity. Using firm-level data from Italy during 2003–13 and OECD measures of product market regulation, we estimate the effect of deregulation in network sectors on value added and productivity of firms in these sectors, as well as firms using these intermediates in their production processes. We find evidence of a significant positive impact. These effects are more pronounced in Italian provinces with more efficient public administration, underscoring the complementarities of advancing public administration and product market reforms simultaneously.
This paper investigates the impact of structural reforms on productivity growth. A panel analysis of 20 OECD countries finds that the impact of structural reforms on productivity growth may be weak or negative in the short run, possibly due to adjustment costs and the need for firms to learn how to operate in a less regulated and more competitive environment. In the long run, however, structural reforms are found to have significantly positive effects on productivity growth.