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The variance of firm growth rates: the ‘scaling’ puzzle

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  • Sutton, John
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    Abstract

    Recent evidence suggests that a power-law relationship exists between a firm's size and the variance of its growth rate. The flatness of the relation is regarded as puzzling, in that it suggests that large firms are not much more stable than small firms. It has been suggested that the power-law nature of the relationship reflects the presence of some form of correlation of growth rates across the firm's constituent businesses. Here, it is shown that a model of independent businesses which allows for the fact that these businesses vary in size, as modelled by a simple ‘partitions of integers’ model, provides a good representation of what is observed empirically.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications.

    Volume (Year): 312 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 3 ()
    Pages: 577-590

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:312:y:2002:i:3:p:577-590

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    Web page: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/physica-a-statistical-mechpplications/

    Related research

    Keywords: Size distribution; Scaling; Power law; Partitions; Corporate growth;

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    Cited by:
    1. Alex Coad, 2008. "Firm growth and scaling of growth rate variance in multiplant firms," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(9), pages 1-15.
    2. Masanao Aoki, 2006. "Thermodynamic Limits of Macroeconomic or Financial Models: One-and Two-Parameter Poisson-Dirichlet Models," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-445, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    3. Şeker, Murat, 2012. "A structural model of firm and industry evolution: Evidence from Chile," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 891-913.
    4. Metzig, Cornelia & Gordon, Mirta B., 2014. "A model for scaling in firms’ size and growth rate distribution," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 398(C), pages 264-279.
    5. Stanley, H. Eugene & Plerou, Vasiliki & Gabaix, Xavier, 2008. "A statistical physics view of financial fluctuations: Evidence for scaling and universality," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(15), pages 3967-3981.
    6. Masanao Aoki & Hiroshi Yoshikawa, 2007. "Non-Self-Averaging in Macroeconomic Models: A Criticism of Modern Micro-founded Macroeconomics," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-493, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    7. Masanao Aoki, 2006. "Growth Patterns of Two Types of Macro-Models: Limiting Behavior of One-and Two-Parameter Poisson-Dirichlet Models," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-446, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    8. Stanley, H.E. & Gabaix, Xavier & Gopikrishnan, Parameswaran & Plerou, Vasiliki, 2007. "Economic fluctuations and statistical physics: Quantifying extremely rare and less rare events in finance," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 382(1), pages 286-301.
    9. Thomas Lux, 2006. "Applications of Statistical Physics in Finance and Economics," Working Papers wpn06-07, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
    10. Cornelia Metzig & Mirta B. Gordon, 2013. "A Model for Scaling in Firms' Size and Growth Rate Distribution," Papers 1304.4311, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2013.

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