Discussion paper

DP18966 Anatomy of Technology and Tasks in the Establishment

We construct a grid that covers the key business functions of an establishment and the main technologies used in each of them. We populate this grid with data from over 20,000 establishments in 15 countries. We use this dataset to document novel “facts” about how establishments use technology, the sourcing of business functions, the specialization of establishments from a task perspective, the measurement of technology, and the relationship between technology sophistication and productivity across establishments. We find that differences in technology sophistication account for 31% of cross-establishment dispersion in productivity and for more than half of the agricultural productivity gap.


Cirera, X, D Comin and M Cruz (2024), ‘DP18966 Anatomy of Technology and Tasks in the Establishment‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18966. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18966