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Growth Processes of Italian Manufacturing Firms

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  • Alex Coad
  • Rekha Rao
  • Federico Tamagni

Abstract

This paper presents a multidimensional empirical analysis of firm growth. Exploiting census data on Italian manufacturing firms, 1989-1997, we estimate a reduced-form VAR to analyze the co-evolution of employment growth, sales growth, growth of profits and labour productivity growth. Our main findings suggest that (i) employment growth precedes sales growth; (ii) productivity growth lacks any strong association with subsequent growth of the other indicators; (iii) profits growth represents the `absorbing dimension' of the growth processes. This picture contrasts with 'accelerator models', predicting sales are the driver of the growth process, and is also at odds with theories of firm-industry evolution assuming productivity or profits advantages to be the driver of strong market selection/reallocation mechanisms. Instead, the findings reveal the existence of (weak) Penrose and (strong) Kaldor-Verdoorn effects, and more generally convey the view that employment growth is the key driver of firm expansion, while profits, once made, are not reinvested.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2008/20.

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Date of creation: 02 Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/20

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Keywords: Household Consumption Expenditure; Budget Shares; Sum of Log-Normal Distributions;

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References

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  1. Alex Coad, 2007. "Exploring the "mechanics" of firm growth : evidence from a short-panel VAR," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r07037, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  2. Toke Reichstein & Michael S. Dahl & Bernd Ebersberger, & Morten Jensen, 2006. "The Devil Dwells in the Tails A Quantile Regression Approach to Firm Growth," DRUID Working Papers 06-34, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  3. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Comparative analysis of firm demographics and survival: evidence from micro-level sources in OECD countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 365-391, June.
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  5. Brouwer, Erik & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, Jeroen O N, 1993. "Employment Growth and Innovation at the Firm Level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 153-59, May.
  6. Baumol, William J, et al, 1970. "Earnings Retention, New Capital and the Growth of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 52(4), pages 345-55, November.
  7. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521608275, April.
  8. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "The Growth of Firms in Theory and in Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Michael Binder & Cheng Hsiao & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2000. "Estimation and Inference in Short Panel Vector Autoregressions with Unit Roots and Cointegration," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0005, Banco de Espa�a.
  10. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2006. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets -super-1," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 295-327.
  11. Coad, Alex, 2007. "Testing the principle of `growth of the fitter': The relationship between profits and firm growth," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 370-386, September.
  12. Brouwer, E. & Kleinknecht, Alfred & Reijnen, J.O.N., 1993. "Employment growth and innovation at the firm level," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-5662246, Tilburg University.
  13. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2011. "Corporate growth and industrial dynamics: evidence from French manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 103-116.
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  16. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2006. "Productivity, Profitability and Financial Fragility: Evidence from Italian Business Firms," LEM Papers Series 2006/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  17. Alex Coad, 2007. "Neoclassical vs evolutionary theories of financial constraints : critique and prospectus," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r07008, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
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  20. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
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  22. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  23. Alex Coad, 2007. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 69-82, August.
  24. Marcus Asplund & Volker Nocke, 2003. "Firm Turnover in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-010, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Geroski, Paul A & Gugler, Klaus Peter, 2001. "Corporate Growth Convergence in Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 2838, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  26. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
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  28. G. Bottazzi & E. Cefis & G. Dosi & A. Secchi, 2007. "Invariances and Diversities in the Patterns of Industrial Evolution: Some Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Industries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 137-159, June.
  29. Metcalfe, J S, 1994. "Competition, Fisher's Principle and Increasing Returns in the Selection Process," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 4(4), pages 327-46, November.
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  32. Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per & Gartner, William B., 2003. "Arriving at the high-growth firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 189-216, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lee, Sanghoon, 2014. "The relationship between growth and profit: evidence from firm-level panel data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-11.
  2. Giulio Bottazzi & Giovanni Dosi & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2011. "Corporate performances and market selection: some comparative evidence," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00642692, HAL.
  3. Alex Coad & Agustí Segarra & Mercedes Teruel, 2010. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2010-06, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  4. Nuri Yildirim, 2011. "No Appealing Future For High Growth – Low Profitability Firms: Evidence from Turkey’s Top 1000," Working Papers 2011/2, Turkish Economic Association.

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