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This GFP project which was launched in the context of the 2021 Annual Conference of the GFP co-organised by the G20 Italian Presidency, uncovered new evidence about the role of the skill and the demographic structure of firms and their relationship with productivity performance. It relied on a large scale data collection effort, thanks to our partners in national institutions, academia and related OECD projects (LinkEED and Age Diversity) with access to rich linked employer-employee microdata for the universe of private sector companies. This allowed us to document how the skill composition of the most productive firms – the “frontier” – differs from that of a typical firm; what managerial characteristics these top performers have; and how these patterns vary by sector in 10 countries over the period 2000-2018.

Key Highlights Brochure



Telework, productivity and well-being post-COVID-19

Firms at the productivity frontier rely on more high skilled employees

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Country-specific work from our partners on skills, managers and ownership


"The return on human (STEM) capital in Belgium"
By Gert Bijnens and Emmanuel Dhyne


 "A new approach to skills mismatch"
By Amandine Brun-Schammé and Martin Rey 


 Productivity and Human Capital - The Italian case"
By Camilla Andretta, Irene Brunetti and Anna Rosso 


 "Employee training and firm performance"
By Pedro S. Martins

"Financial distress and the role of management in micro and small-sized firms"
By Fernando Alexandre, Sara Cruz and Miguel Portela 

 > Access the working paper series

Further reading