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03/05/2019

Central Bank of Malta public lecture on the Competitiveness Research Network

Dr Filippo di Mauro delivered a public lecture at the Central Bank of Malta on Thursday 2 May on the main findings from the Competitiveness Research Network (CompNet). The speaker was introduced by the Bank's Chief Economist Dr Aaron G. Grech.

Dr di Mauro is a leading economic expert on productivity and international competitiveness of countries and firms. He is currently Professor of Economics at the Business School at the National University of Singapore and consultant for the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Economic Development Board of Singapore and the World Bank. He has more than 30 years of experience in international organizations and central banks. He worked for the Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Bank of Italy, the European Central Bank and the US Federal Reserve.

He is the founder and chairman of CompNet, the leading network on productivity research in Europe. CompNet is a joint effort of central banks and EU institutions to understand how firm productivity changes in the era of digitalization and integrated global value chains. Recently he has founded an Asian productivity network.

His present research interests include the productivity and resource reallocation using firm level data, as well as on the modelling of global linkages and business cycle forecasts, including global trade and value chains. Dr di Mauro has a wide record of publications, including in academic journals such as the Journal of Applied Econometrics, Journal of International Money and Finance, and Economic Policy. 

In his lecture, Dr di Mauro gave a detailed overview of the main findings from this research network. The economic literature has since long recognised that firm-level data deliver crucial information for understanding aggregate competitiveness, as aggregate performance depends strongly on firm-level decisions. Moreover, widespread heterogeneity in firms' behaviour is by now well recognised both in academic and policy circles, highlighting the limits of models based on the representative agent hypothesis. For these reasons, there is growing demand from academia and policy institutions for cross-country comparable firm data. CompNet was created in 2012 - within the European System of Central Banks - to provide such resources and to serve as a hub for economists interested in better understanding the drivers of competitiveness, which is also critical for informing the monetary policy.

Dr di Mauro argued that a major contribution of CompNet was the creation of a unique dataset, now at its sixth edition, of micro-aggregated indicators of productivity, employment, competition and financial position of firms for some 20 EU countries. The result is a huge amount of information on the economic structure of the EU, which takes fully into account that firms are heterogeneous. This database is available upon request also to researchers external to the network. The lecture focused on a few stylised facts and applications drawing from the latest CompNet cross-country database. Dr di Mauro stressed that although correlations obviously do not imply causation, some of these new facts can certainly stimulate curiosity for avid researchers or inspiration for policy makers.

Dr di Mauro is the eighteenth international speaker at Central Bank of Malta events since 2018. 

Central Bank of Malta public lecture on the Competitiveness Research Network

Central Bank of Malta public lecture on the Competitiveness Research Network

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