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Gibrat's Law: are the services different?

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  • Audretsch, D.B.
  • Klomp, L.
  • Thurik, A.R.

Abstract

Several noted surveys on intra-industry dynamics have recently reached the conclusion from a large body of evidence that Gibrat's Law does not hold. However, almost all of these studies have been based on manufacturing. There are compelling reasons to doubt whether these findings hold for the services. In this paper we examine whether the basic tenet underlying Gibrat's Law - that growth rates are independent of firm size - can be rejected for the services as it has been for manufacturing. Based on a large sample of Dutch firms the evidence suggests that growth rates are, in fact, independent of firm size. Validation of Gibrat's Law in the services suggests that the dynamics of industrial organisation for services may not simply mirror that for manufacturing.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam in its series ERIM Report Series Research in Management with number ERS-2002-04-STR.

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Date of creation: 22 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:153

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

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