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Investigating the exponential age distribution of firms

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  • Coad, Alex

Abstract

While several plots of the aggregate age distribution suggest that firm age is exponentially distributed, we find some departures from the exponential benchmark. At the lower tail, we find that very young establishments are more numerous than expected, but they face high exit hazards. At the upper tail, the oldest firms are older than the exponential would have predicted. Furthermore, the age distribution of disaggregated industries (such as the international airline industry) is less regular and can display multimodality. Although we focused on departures from the exponential, we found that the exponential was a useful reference point and endorse it as an appropriate benchmark for future work on industrial structure. --

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2010-17
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File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/32772/1/626674425.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

Volume (Year): 4 (2010)
Issue (Month): 17 ()
Pages: 1-30

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Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201017

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Keywords: Age distribution; exponential distribution; firm size distribution; survival;

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References

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  1. Alex Coad, 2010. "The Exponential Age Distribution and the Pareto Firm Size Distribution," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 389-395, September.
  2. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
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  6. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Growth and Diversification Patterns of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 195-216, December.
  7. Knorr, Andreas & Arndt, Andreas, 2004. "Alliance strategy and the fall of Swissair: a comment," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 119-123.
  8. Cabral, Luís M B & Mata, José, 2001. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 3045, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. de Wit, Gerrit, 2005. "Firm size distributions: An overview of steady-state distributions resulting from firm dynamics models," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 423-450, June.
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  13. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
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  16. Guido Buenstorf & Steven Klepper, 2005. "Heritage and Agglomeration: The Akron Tire Cluster Revisited," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2005-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  17. Huergo, Elena & Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2004. "Firms' age, process innovation and productivity growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 541-559, April.
  18. Levinthal, D.A. & Fichman, M., 1991. "Honeymoons and the Liability of Adolescence : A New Perspective on Duration Dependence in Social Organizational Relationships," GSIA Working Papers 1991-34, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  19. Alexander Coad & Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, 2008. "The Growth and Decline of Small firms In Developing Countries," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-08, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  20. William Cook & Paul Ormerod, 2002. "Power Law Distribution of the Frequency of Demises of U.S Firms," Papers cond-mat/0212186, arXiv.org.
  21. Paolo Angelini & Andrea Generale, 2008. "On the Evolution of Firm Size Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 426-38, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Coad, Alex & Segarra Blasco, Agustí & Teruel Carrizosa, Mercedes, 2010. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Working Papers 2072/179572, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  2. Alex Coad & Christina Guenther, 2012. "Age, diversification and survival in the German machine tool industry, 1953-2002," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-23, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
  3. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2010. "Measuring firms’ financial constraints: Evidence for Portugal through different approaches," GEMF Working Papers 2010-15, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  4. Carlos Carreira & Filipe Silva, 2012. "Where Are The Fragilities? The Relationship Between Firms' Financial Constraints, Size, And Age," Book Chapters, Institute of Economic Sciences.
  5. Alex Coad & Jaganaddha Tamvada, 2012. "Firm growth and barriers to growth among small firms in India," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 383-400, September.
  6. Schimke, Antje & Teichert, Nina & Ott, Ingrid, 2012. "Impact of local knowledge endowment on employment growth in nanotechnology," Working Paper Series in Economics 38, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Business Engineering.

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