Quaternary activities have been on the rise, as a consequence of the increasing technological developments and work automation, as they are expected to have an impact on both the future of the job market and the overall economy. As such, and considering that Total Factor Productivity (TFP) constitutes a main driver of output growth, we propose to study its determinants for the quaternary sector. First, we establish several criteria to build our own definition of quaternary activities, as they are not acknowledged in national accounts or other statistics. For such purpose, our empirical assessment is based on a firm level panel dataset, comprising Portuguese firms, between 2006 and 2017. Secondly, we employ the Levinsohn and Petrin (2003)’s methodology to estimate TFP at the firm level. Finally, through a second stage estimation, we build a fixed effects model based on several determinants said to impact firms' TFP, and establish a comparison with the remainder sectors of economic activity. Both descriptive statistics of the database and the final regression outputs provide evidence that quaternary activities differ from the remainder in several characteristics. Our results show that innovation, wage premium and international openness rise the level of TFP, while indebtedness presents an opposite correlation. The age and size of the firm show a non linear relationship with TFP.


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