Reducing productivity and efficiency gaps: the role of knowledge assets, absorptive capacity and institutions (Competitiveness Report 2013)

Client/Funding Institution

European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry


This study serves as a background report for the yearly Competitiveness Report of the EC. It analyses the impact of knowledge assets on productivity and technical efficiency in the EU, as well as their role in the process of knowledge transfer. The analysis will cover the role of the institutional and regulatory environment in affecting productivity and technical efficiency and how different regulations interact with both the accumulation of knowledge assets and the transfer of technology. Special emphasis will be put on the analysis of trends and performance within the EU, across countries and sectors. The trends and performance of the EU at aggregate and sectoral levels will also be contrasted with that of other major competitors, such as the US, Japan or Korea. The study will also explore what are the effects of the recent crisis on productivity and efficiency at firm level. wiiw conducted this study in cooperation with NIESR and WIFO.


November 2012 - June 2013

wiiw team Leader

Robert Stehrer

wiiw Staff

Neil Foster-McGregor, Cornelia Stocker-Waldhuber

Project Partners

National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO)

Keywords: competitiveness, Industrial Organisation, manufacturing, services

Countries covered: EU-27

Research Areas: International Trade, Competitiveness and FDI, Sectoral studies