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Macroeconomic Trends and Divergences between Companies: a Case Study of France

The growing divergence between companies (within countries and within very fine sectors of activity) is now a source of concern for public policy makers and has given rise to numerous debates in academic circles. This divergence, in terms of productivity and a number of other variables (market share, wages, labour share of value added, profits and margins, etc.) is a phenomenon which is not unique to France, as the first report of the National Council on Productivity observes. This phenomenon has given rise to several hypotheses intended to explain the underlying causes and consequences of these trends, but no consensus has yet emerged. In particular, there is much debate about the emergence of "superstar" companies and their increasing market power. A resolution of this debate requires the use of comprehensive company data.