Analysis of business demography using markov chains : an application to Belgian data
AbstractThis paper applies the theory of finite Markov chains to analyse the demographic evolution of Belgian enterprises. While other methodologies concentrate on the entry and exit of firms, the Markov approach also analyses migrations between economic sectors. Besides helping to provide a fuller picture of the evolution of the population, Markov chains also enable forecasts of its future composition to be made, as well as the computation of average lifetimes of companies by branch of activity. The method is applied to Belgian data from the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE). To ensure compliance with Eurostat-OECD definitions, only 'active' enterprises, i.e. enterprises with a positive turnover and/or at least one employee, are considered. The forecasting method is applied to simulate the demographic evolution of the CBE population between 2000 and 2006. This simulation seems to match well the observed changes. Taking migrations into account yields better forecasts than if they are not considered. Moreover, several off-diagonal percentages in the transition matrix are sigificantly different from zero. A case study shows that these migrations are changes in main activity and not the consequence of corrections of wrongly classified firms. Next, the average remaining lifetime and the average age of enterprises in a particular branch of activity is computed and analysed. These lifetimes and ages differ considerably across branches. As expected the life-times of public services are longer than average. Shorter lifetimes combined with an increasing number of enterprises is an indication of renewal inside the branch. A low average age is a sign of relatively new branches. Comparing age to total expected lifetime yields an indicator of closeness to extinction. This might be an indicator of the maturity of the branch. The method is more generally applicable in the sense that it can be used to analyse other populations than those from the CBE and other partitions of the population
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 170.
Length: 47 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Boulevard de Berlaimont 14, B-1000 Bruxelles
Phone: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 25 34
Fax: (+ 32) (0) 2 221 31 62
Web page: http://www.nbb.be
More information through EDIRC
Business demography; Markov chains; Transition matrix;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
- M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-07-11 (All new papers)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.