Productivity: Firms, Markets, and Economies

ECS558 Productivity: Firms, Markets, and Economies

Autumn 2024

  • Topics

    The first section of the course will lay the necessary conceptual groundwork by introducing students to productivity as a concept, how it is measured, and the basic patterns of firm-level productivity both in the cross-section and over time.

    The second section looks at explanations for productivity differences across producers and how this is related to differences in firm performance as well as earnings inequality and labours share of income.

    The third section examines the burgeoning literature that investigates the efficiency (or lack thereof) of the allocation of resources across heterogeneous-productivity producers. This involves work that is both positive, describing the allocation as-is, and normative, asking what is efficient and whether market mechanisms support this or instead are impeded by frictions from achieving more efficient outcomes.

    The fourth section zooms out to explore more aggregate patterns of productivity and how they are related to the microeconomic patterns that underlie it.

  • Learning outcome

    After completing this course, the candidate can:


    • Measure firm productivity.
    • Investigate how firms productivity depends on market conditions and firm characteristics.


    • Evaluate and apply advanced topics in productivity theory, measurement, and empirical analysis in their own research.

    General competence:

    • Communicate and discuss the relevant research with a peer audience.

  • Teaching

    The course consists of four days of lectures plus time for the students to present their own research.

  • Restricted access

    • PhD candidates at NHH
    • PhD candidates at Norwegian institutions
    • PhD candidates at other institutions
    • PhD candidates from the ENGAGE.EU alliance
    • Motivated master’s students at NHH may be admitted after application, but are subject to the approval from the course responsible on a case by case basis

  • Recommended prerequisites


  • Required prerequisites


  • Credit reduction due to overlap


  • Compulsory Activity

    Participation in class.

  • Assessment

    5 days individual home exam, start Day 1 at 9.00, deadline Day 5 at 14.00.

  • Grading Scale


  • Computer tools


  • Literature

    The complete reading list will be published in Leganto.

  • This is an ENGAGE-course

    This course is offered to PhD candidates from the ENGAGE.EU alliance.


ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Will be offered 17-20 June 2024.

Course responsible

Professor Chad Syverson, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Professor Eirik Gaard Kristiansen, Department of Economics (contact person)