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Abstract: Productivity is at the core of the large differences in per-capita income across countries. What accounts for international productivity differences? I discuss the possible cross-country differences in the allocation of inputs across heterogeneous production units---misallocation---as a factor in accounting for aggregate productivity. The policies and institutions generating misallocation are prevalent in poor and developing countries, and may also be responsible for differences in the selection and technology use of operating producers, contributing substantially to per-capita income differences across countries.
Keywords: productivity, misallocation, selection, technology, regulation, trade, financial frictions, agriculture.
JEL Classification: O11, O14, O4.