Business Size, Numbers, Production Value and Productivity Trends in Manufacture and Mining-Quarrying across the EU, 2008-2017
Purpose: The objective of the paper is to empirically estimate and contrast the long-run trends of four business development and performance measures (number, average size, production value, and labor productivity of companies) observed annually across the EU in the manufacturing and mining-quarrying sectors from 2008 to 2017. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper econometrically isolates the long-run trends from both the autonomous components and the principle medium-term deviations from the trend in the 28 EU member-states by achieving a high level of model fitness while preserving degrees of freedom. Findings: Despite operating in the same legal-competition-funding-export framework, on average, EU businesses exhibit diverse development and performance trends from one member-state to another (within sectors) and from one sector to the other (in the same state), especially in terms of numbers and sizes. However, in most member-states, on average, they exhibit upward productivity in manufacture; and in a good number of states (not necessarily the same states) they exhibit upward labor productivity trends in mining-quarrying and upward (downward) production value trends in manufacture (mining-quarrying). Practical Implications: Business decisions and policy interventions may have to vary from one sector to another across the EU, and from one place to another whthin the two sectors. In addition, by empirically pinpointing in time, space and sector the switches in the trends and the mid-term deviations from the trends, the paper enables future research to identify what caused the said changes, and, thus, draw useful lessons for businesses and for territorial development policy in manufacture or mining-quarrying. Originality/value: A broad, unified view of business life and performance complements the individual sectoral or subsectoral analyses on such matters usually carried out for single member-states or groups of member-states.