Sectoral Reallocations, Real-Estate Shocks, and Productivity Divergence in Europe

Jérôme Héricourt (University of Evry-Val d’Essonne) & Thomas Grjebine & Fabien Tripier



This paper investigates the role of sectoral reallocations in the divergence of productivity in Europe, based on a database for 33 sectors and 14 countries between 1995 and 2015. Using the contribution of sectoral productivity growth to Total Factor Productivity (TFP) dynamics at the country level, we highlight that variations in the relative size of sectors—less productive sectors growing relatively to more productive ones—have been at the origin of variable productivity losses in main European countries. Parallel to this divergence, European countries experienced heterogeneous real estate price dynamics, which took the form, in some economies, of massive boom-bust cycles. We investigate real estate shocks as a potential source of sectoral reallocations through a collateral mechanism. These shocks turn out to be a strong driver of productivity divergence between European countries.