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A new method for measuring tail exponents of firm size distributions

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  • Fujimoto, Shouji
  • Ishikawa, Atushi
  • Mizuno, Takayuki
  • Watanabe, Tsutomu
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    Abstract

    We propose a new method for estimating the power-law exponent of a firm size variable, such as annual sales. Our focus is on how to empirically identify a range in which a firm size variable follows a power-law distribution. As is well known, a firm size variable follows a power-law distribution only beyond some threshold. On the other hand, in almost all empirical exercises, the right end part of a distribution deviates from a power-law due to finite size effect. We modify the method proposed by Malevergne et al. (2011) so that we can identify both of the lower and the upper thresholds and then estimate the power-law exponent using observations only in the range defined by the two thresholds. We apply this new method to various firm size variables, including annual sales, the number of workers, and tangible fixed assets for firms in more than thirty countries. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 2011-29.

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    Date of creation: 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201129

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    Related research

    Keywords: Econophysics; power-law distributions; power-law exponents; firm size variables; finite size effect;

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    1. Fujiwara, Yoshi & Di Guilmi, Corrado & Aoyama, Hideaki & Gallegati, Mauro & Souma, Wataru, 2004. "Do Pareto–Zipf and Gibrat laws hold true? An analysis with European firms," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 335(1), pages 197-216.
    2. Hisano, Ryohei & Mizuno, Takayuki, 2011. "Sales distribution of consumer electronics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(2), pages 309-318.
    3. Ramsden, J.J. & Kiss-Haypál, Gy., 2000. "Company size distribution in different countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 277(1), pages 220-227.
    4. Gaffeo, Edoardo & Gallegati, Mauro & Palestrini, Antonio, 2003. "On the size distribution of firms: additional evidence from the G7 countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 117-123.
    5. Stanley, Michael H. R. & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Havlin, Shlomo & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Salinger, Michael A. & Eugene Stanley, H., 1995. "Zipf plots and the size distribution of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
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