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Jobmotor Mittelstand?: Arbeitsplatzdynamik und Betriebsgröße in der westdeutschen Industrie


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  • Joachim Wagner


It is often argued that in Germany jobs are mostly created in small and medium sized firms, while large firms generally tend to destroy jobs. The so-called Mittelstand is considered as the engine of job creation. Using panel data for manufacturing firms this paper demonstrates that this simple view is wrong. Growing and shrinking firms, entries and exits can be found in a substantial amount in all size classes in each time period considered. Economic policy measures with a special focus on firms from different size classes, therefore, can not be justified by pointing to an extraordinary large contribution of these firms to job creation. In der öffentlichen Diskussion gilt als allgemein akzeptiert, dass in Deutschland ein Zusammenhang zwischen Firmengröße und Arbeitsplatzdynamik besteht, der sich durch den stilisierten Fakt beschreiben lässt, dass kleine und mittlere Firmen vorwiegend Arbeitsplätze schaffen, während in großen Firmen vor allem Arbeitsplätze abgebaut werden. Der Mittelstand gilt als Jobmotor. Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt, dass eine Auswertung von Längsschnittdaten für Betriebe Zweifel an dieser einfachen Sichtweise begründen kann. In mittelständischen Betrieben entstehen viele Arbeitsplätze, aber es werden auch viele abgebaut, und dasselbe gilt für Großbetriebe. Wachsende und schrumpfende, neu gegründete und geschlossene Betriebe sind in jeweils erheblichem Umfang in jedem Jahr in allen Größenklassen anzutreffen. Wirtschaftspolitische Maßnahmen mit einer spezifischen Ausrichtung auf bestimmte Firmengrößenklassen lassen sich daher nicht mit einem besonders ausgeprägten Beitrag dieser Firmen zur Beschäftigungsdynamik rechtfertigen.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung.

Volume (Year): 76 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 76-87

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwvjh:76-3-7

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Keywords: Firm size; job creation and destruction; firm panel data;

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  1. Joachim Wagner, 2006. "International Firm Activities and Innovation: Evidence from Knowledge Production Functions for German Firms," Working Paper Series in Economics, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics 25, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing theFacts," NBER Working Papers 4492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Joachim Wagner & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel & John T. Addison, 2006. "Works Councils, Labor Productivity and Plant Heterogeneity: First Evidence from Quantile Regressions," GEMF Working Papers 2006-03, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  4. Anja Malchin & Ramona Pohl, 2007. "Firmendaten der amtlichen Statistik: Datenzugang und neue Entwicklungen im Forschungsdatenzentrum," Vierteljahrshefte zur Wirtschaftsforschung / Quarterly Journal of Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research, vol. 76(3), pages 8-16.
  5. Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Politikrelevante Folgerungen aus Analysen mit Firmendaten der Amtlichen Statistik," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 126(3), pages 359-374.
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Cited by:
  1. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:41:i:2/3:p:199-221 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Raimund Krumm & Harald Strotmann, 2013. "The impact of regional location factors on job creation, job destruction and employment growth in manufacturing," Jahrbuch für Regionalwissenschaft, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 23-48, February.
  3. Bauer, Thomas K. & Schmucker, Alexandra & Vorell, Mathias, 2008. "KMU und Arbeitsplatzdynamik : eine Analyse auf Basis der Beschäftigten-Historik-Datei," IAB Discussion Paper 200802, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].


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