Renewal of Companies: Industry Switching as a Form of Structural Change


The contributions of entry and exit of firms to aggregate productivity growth are well-established in the literature. However, the impact of industry switching of firms on productivity remains overlooked. The purpose of this report is to shed new light on the role of industry switching as a form of structural change.

The results show that industry switching is very common and occurs in all industries in Finland, especially during the times of recession. Industry switching has had both positive and negative contributions to aggregate productivity in different periods. Intra-industry switching had mainly negative impact on productivity growth suggesting that switching was taken as a strategy to survive. On the other hand, inter-industry switching had mainly positive impact on productivity growth, suggesting that switching was associated with new products and technologies.

The study also looked at the structural developments of industries relevant for combating climate change. As emission reduction targets require companies to renew their product and service offerings, climate policy can help guide companies to switch industries. However, in the industries examined in the study, restructuring has so far taken place mainly through entry and exit.

Publication info

Results of research
How does the renewal of products and services affect firms’ productivity?
Research group
Business renewal
ETLA Raportit - Reports 126
Industrial structure, Industry switching, Labor productivity, Productivity decompositions
2323-2447, 2323-2455 (Pdf)
C81, D22, L16