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Demand Fluctuations and Firm Heterogeneity

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  • Das, Bhaskar J
  • Chappell, William F
  • Shughart, William F, II

Abstract

This paper reports evidence supporting the hypothesis that production flexibility is one of the forces that explain differences in the distribution of firm sizes across industries. Using a data set composed of annual observations on 163 four-digit manufacturing industries over the period 1978-88, the authors find a negative relationship between market share and sales variability. This empirical result suggests that large and small fir ms each have their own efficiency niches. While large firms enjoy the advantage of static production efficiency, the flexible production technologies of small firms enable them to respond better to changin g demand conditions. Copyright 1993 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Das, Bhaskar J & Chappell, William F & Shughart, William F, II, 1993. "Demand Fluctuations and Firm Heterogeneity," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 51-60, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:41:y:1993:i:1:p:51-60
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    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Liu & Wang, Yonggui & Ma, Jun & Ng, Chi To & Cheng, T.C.E., 2014. "Technology investment under flexible capacity strategy with demand uncertainty," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 190-197.
    2. Josep Mª Argilés Bosch & Josep García Blandón, 2011. "The influence of size on cost behaviour associated with tactical and operational flexibility," Estudios de Economia, University of Chile, Department of Economics, vol. 38(2 Year 20), pages 419-455, December.
    3. Dhawan, Rajeev, 2001. "Firm size and productivity differential: theory and evidence from a panel of US firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 269-293, March.
    4. Buschle, Nicole-Barbara, 2002. "Der Einfluß von Konsumenten auf die Determinanten wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung: Ein evolutorisches Simulationsmodell," Dresden Discussion Paper Series in Economics 03/02, Technische Universität Dresden, Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Economics.
    5. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 1995. "Flexibility in the face of demand fluctuations: Employment, capacity utilization, and industry structure," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 179-193.
    6. Weiss, Christoph R., 2001. "On flexibility," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 347-356, November.
    7. Guven Sak & Erol Taymaz, 2004. "How Flexible are Small Firms? An Analysis on the Determinants of Flexibility," Working Papers 0416, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 May 2004.
    8. Weiss, Christoph R., 1999. "Flexibility In Agriculture," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21502, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    9. Antoci, A. & Sacco, P.L. & Scarpa, C., 2005. "Flexibility choices and oligopolistic competition in an evolutionary environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1643-1671, October.
    10. Renner, Swetlana & Glauben, Thomas & Hockmann, Heinrich, 2012. "Measurement And Decomposition Of Flexibility Of Multi-Output Firms," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 124865, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Renner, Swetlana & Pieniadz, Agata, 2008. "Conceptualisation of family farms’ flexibility," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 44126, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    12. Swetlana Renner & Thomas Glauben & Heinrich Hockmann & Pierre Ouellette, 2015. "Primal and dual multi-output flexibility measures," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 127-136, October.

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