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New goods and the size distribution of firms

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  • Erzo G.J. Luttmer

Abstract

This paper describes a simple model of aggregate and firm growth based on the introduction of new goods. An incumbent firm can combine labor with blueprints for goods it already produces to develop new blueprints. Every worker in the economy is also a potential entrepreneur who can design a new blueprint from scratch and set up a new firm. The implied firm size distribution closely matches the fat tail observed in the data when the marginal entrepreneur is far out in the tail of the entrepreneurial skill distribution. The model produces a variance of firm growth that declines with size. But the decline is more rapid than suggested by the evidence. The model also predicts a new-firm entry rate equal to only 2.5% per annum, instead of the observed rate of 10% in U.S. data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Working Papers with number 649.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:649

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Keywords: Production (Economic theory);

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References

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  1. Satyajit Chatterjee & Esteban Rossi‐Hansberg, 2012. "Spinoffs And The Market For Ideas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(1), pages 53-93, 02.
  2. Erzo G.J. Luttmer, 2006. "Consumer search and firm growth," Working Papers 645, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Rasmus Lentz & Dale T. Mortensen, 2005. "An Empirical Model of Growth Through Product Innovation," CAM Working Papers 2005-13, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics. Centre for Applied Microeconometrics.
  4. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  5. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "On the Turnover of Business Firms and Business Managers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1005-38, October.
  6. Klette, Tor Jakob & Kortum, Samuel S, 2002. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3248, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Xavier Gabaix, 2011. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(3), pages 733-772, 05.
  8. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  9. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
  10. Burdett, Kenneth & Vishwanath, Tara, 1988. "Balanced Matching and Labor Market Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 1048-65, October.
  11. Ariel Burstein & Andrew Atkeson, 2009. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," 2009 Meeting Papers 186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  13. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Luis Garicano, 2008. "Organizing Growth," 2008 Meeting Papers 247, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Tomás Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 433-484, 06.
  3. Pedro Rui Mazeda Gil, 2008. "Stylized Facts and Other Empirical Evidence on Firm Dynamics, Business Cycle and Growth," FEP Working Papers 276, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.

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