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Do Small Businesses Create More Jobs? New Evidence from the National Establishment Time Series

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  • David Neumark
  • Brandon Wall
  • Junfu Zhang

Abstract

We use a new database, the National Establishment Time Series (NETS), to revisit the debate about the role of small businesses in job creation. Birch (e.g., 1987) argued that small firms are the most important source of job creation in the U.S. economy, but Davis et al. (1996a) argued that this conclusion was flawed, and based on improved methods and using data for the manufacturing sector they concluded that there was no relationship between establishment size and net job creation. Using the NETS data, we examine evidence for the overall economy, as well as for different sectors. The results indicate that small establishments and small firms create more jobs, on net, although the difference is much smaller than what is suggested by Birch's methods. However, the negative relationship between establishment size and job creation is much less clear for the manufacturing sector, which may explain some of the earlier findings contradicting Birch's conclusions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13818.

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Date of creation: Feb 2008
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13818

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Cited by:
  1. Magnus Lofstrom, 2013. "Does self-employment increase the economic well-being of low-skilled workers?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 933-952, May.
  2. De-Chih Liu, 2013. "Small business job creation hypothesis in Taiwan," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(3), pages 1459-1492, April.
  3. repec:ldr:wpaper:92 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Philippe Aghion & Ufuk Akcigit & Peter Howitt, 2013. "What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?," NBER Working Papers 18824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kameliia Petrova, 2012. "Sources of Employment Growth in the North Country," New York Economic Review, New York State Economics Association (NYSEA), vol. 43(1), pages 46-69.
  6. Roxana Gutiérrez-Romero, 2012. "Determinants of Spanish Firms' Life Cycle and Job Creation: A Pseudo-Panel Approach," Working Papers wpdea1209, Department of Applied Economics at Universitat Autonoma of Barcelona.
  7. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & Bertel Schjerning & Anders Sørensen, 2011. "Entrepreneurship, job creation and wage growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 15-32, January.
  8. World Bank, 2010. "Scaling-Up SME Access to Financial Services," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12515, The World Bank.
  9. Marco Corsino & Roberto Gabriele & Sandro Trento, 2010. "Job flows in Italian SMEs: a longitudinal analysis of growth, size and age," DISA Working Papers 1008, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 22 Dec 2010.
  10. Aghion, Philippe & Akcigit, Ufuk & Howitt, Peter, 2013. "What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 298, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  11. Andrew Kerr & Martin Wittenberg & Jairo Arrow, 2013. "Job Creation and Destruction in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 092, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  12. Haunschild, Ljuba & May-Strobl, Eva, 2009. "Arbeitsplatzdynamik und nachhaltige Beschäftigungswirkungen in kleinen und mittleren Unternehmen: Eine empirische Untersuchung auf Basis des Umsatzsteuerpanels für die Jahre 2001 bis 2005," Working Papers 06/09, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
  13. Bögenhold, Dieter & Fachinger, Uwe, 2012. "Unternehmertum: Unterschiedliche Facetten selbstständiger Berufstätigkeit
    [Entrepreneurship: Diverse aspects of self-employment]
    ," MPRA Paper 51459, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  14. Philippe Aghion & Ufuk Akcigit & Peter Brown, 2013. "What Do We Learn From Schumpeterian Growth Theory?," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-026, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Anil Rupasingha, 2013. "Locally owned: Do local business ownership and size matter for local economic well-being?," Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper 2013-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  16. Corseuil, Carlos Henrique L. & Moura, Rodrigo Leandro de, 2010. "The effects of tax incentives for small firms on employment levels," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 701, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).

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