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Gibrat's Law and the Firm Size / Firm Growth Relationship in Italian Services

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Author Info

  • R. Piergiovanni

    (Statistics Italy, Rome)

  • E. Santarelli

    (University of Bologna)

  • L. Klomp

    (Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Hague)

  • A.R. Thurik

    ()
    (CASBEC, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer)

Abstract

Several surveys on intra-industry dynamics have recently reached the conclusion from a large body of evidence that Gibrat's Law does not hold, i.e., the main finding is that firm growth decreases with firm size. However, almost all of these studies have been based on manufacturing. In this paper - in search of further evidence supporting the results recently obtained for a large sample of Dutch firms in the hospitality industry - we examine whether the assumption that growth rates are independent of firm size can be rejected for the services, as it has been for manufacturing, also in the case of Italy. Based on a large sample of Italian new-born firms in five business groups in the hospitality industry, the evidence suggests that growth rates are, in fact, independent of firm size in two business groups, while Gibrat's Law is rejected for the remaining three business groups and for the industry as a whole. These mixed results concerning Gibrat's Law in the services are consistent with the hypothesis that the dynamics of industrial organisation for services may not simply mirror that for manufacturing. Besides, the findings in this paper support the hypothesis that any general conclusion concerning Gibrat's Law cannot be reached without considering heterogeneity, at least among firms of different industries.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 02-080/3.

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Date of creation: 14 Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20020080

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Related research

Keywords: firm growth; service industries; Gibrat's Law; Italy.;

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References

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  1. David Audretsch & Michael Fritsch, 2002. "Growth Regimes over Time and Space," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 113-124.
  2. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2001. "Is It Really Wise to Design Policies in Support of New Firm Formation?," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 91(4), pages 151-170, April-May.
  3. Singh, Ajit & Whittington, Geoffrey, 1975. "The Size and Growth of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 15-26, January.
  4. Audretsch, David B. & van Leeuwen, George & Menkveld, Bert & Thurik, Roy, 2001. "Market dynamics in the Netherlands: Competition policy and the role of small firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(5), pages 795-821, April.
  5. Audretsch, David B. & Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 1999. "Start-up size and industrial dynamics: some evidence from Italian manufacturing," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 17(7), pages 965-983, October.
  6. David Audretsch & Roy Thurik, 0000. "Sources of Growth," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 97-109/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  7. D.B. Audretsch & L. Klomp & E. Santarelli & A.R. Thurik, 2004. "Gibrat's Law: Are the Services Different?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 301-324, 05.
  8. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
  9. Boeri, Tito & Bellmann, Lutz, 1995. "Post-entry behaviour and the cycle: Evidence from Germany," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 483-500, December.
  10. Santarelli, Enrico & Piergiovanni, Roberta, 1995. " The Determinants of Firm Start-up and Entry in Italian Producer Services," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 221-30, June.
  11. Chesher, Andrew, 1979. "Testing the Law of Proportionate Effect," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 403-11, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2005. "The Dynamics of the Growth of Firms: Evidence from the Services Sector," GEMF Working Papers 2005-04, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  2. Georgios Fotopoulos & Ioannis Giotopoulos, 2010. "Gibrat’s law and persistence of growth in Greek manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 191-202, September.
  3. Ioannis Giotopoulos & Georgios Fotopoulos, 2010. "Intra-Industry Growth Dynamics in the Greek Services Sector: Firm-Level Estimates for ICT-Producing, ICT-Using, and Non-ICT Industries," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 59-74, February.
  4. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2010. "Financial constraints: Are there differences between manufacturing and services?," GEMF Working Papers 2010-16, GEMF - Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra.
  5. Francesca Lotti & Marco Vivarelli & Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Gibrat's Law and Market Selection," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  6. Mickey Folkeringa & Andre van Stel & Joris Meijaard, 2005. "Innovation, strategic renewal and its effect on small firm performance," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-36, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.

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