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The Slow Growth of New Plants: Learning about Demand?

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  • Lucia Foster
  • John C. Haltiwanger
  • Chad Syverson

Abstract

It is well known that new businesses are typically much smaller than their established industry competitors, and that this size gap closes slowly. We show that even in commodity-like product markets, these patterns do not reflect productivity gaps, but rather differences in demand-side fundamentals. We document and explore patterns in plants’ idiosyncratic demand levels by estimating a dynamic model of plant expansion in the presence of a demand accumulation process (e.g., building a customer base). We find active accumulation driven by plants’ past production decisions quantitatively dominates passive demand accumulation, and that within-firm spillovers affect demand levels but not growth.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17853.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17853

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Weber, Andrea & Zulehner, Christine, 2009. "Competition and Gender Prejudice: Are Discriminatory Employers Doomed to Fail?," IZA Discussion Papers 4526, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Leena Rudanko & Francois Gourio, 2010. "Customer Capital," 2010 Meeting Papers 121, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Ivan Cherkashin & Svetlana Demidova & Hiau Looi Kee & Kala Krishna, 2010. "Firm Heterogeneity and Costly Trade: A New Estimation Strategy and Policy Experiments," NBER Working Papers 16557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Allen Tran, 2013. "Customer Driven Establishment Dynamics and Allocative Efficiency," 2013 Meeting Papers 115, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Hsieh, Chang-Tai & Klenow, Peter J., 2012. "The Life Cycle of Plants in India and Mexico," Working Papers 12-20, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Teresa C Fort & John Haltiwanger & Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "How Firms Respond to Business Cycles: The Role of Firm Age and Firm Size," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 61(3), pages 520-559, August.
  7. Di Comite, Francesco & Thisse, Jacques-François & Vandenbussche, Hylke, 2014. "Verti-zontal differentiation in export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 50-66.
  8. Chad Syverson, 2011. "What Determines Productivity?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(2), pages 326-65, June.
  9. Smeets, Valérie & Warzynski, Frédéric, 2010. "Learning by Exporting, Importing or Both? Estimating productivity with multi-product firms, pricing heterogeneity and the role of international trade," Working Papers 10-13, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
  10. Nicholas Trachter & Andrea Pozzi & Luigi Paciello, 2014. "Markups Dynamics with Customer Markets," 2014 Meeting Papers 39, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Bart J. Bronnenberg & Jean-Pierre H. Dube & Matthew Gentzkow, 2010. "The Evolution of Brand Preferences: Evidence from Consumer Migration," NBER Working Papers 16267, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Amitabh Chandra & Amy Finkelstein & Adam Sacarny & Chad Syverson, 2013. "Healthcare Exceptionalism? Productivity and Allocation in the U.S. Healthcare Sector," NBER Working Papers 19200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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