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Legal Form, Growth and Exit of West German Firms—Empirical Results for Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Service Industries

Author

Listed:
  • Dietmar Harhoff
  • Konrad Stahl
  • Michaerl Woywode

Abstract

Using a sample of approximately 11000 West German firms from all major sectors of the economy, we test predictions on the relationship between legal form, firm survival and employment growth. In our tests, we distinguish between voluntary liquidation without losses to creditors and bankruptcy, that is forced liquidation. We demonstrate that in all sectors firms under limited liability have higher growth and higher insolvency rates than comparable firms under full liability. Firms whose owners are approaching retirement age are characterised by relatively high hazards of voluntary liquidation, while the propensity to declare insolvency is not affected by the owner’s age.

Suggested Citation

  • Dietmar Harhoff & Konrad Stahl & Michaerl Woywode, 1998. "Legal Form, Growth and Exit of West German Firms—Empirical Results for Manufacturing, Construction, Trade and Service Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 453-488, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:46:y:1998:i:4:p:453-488
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-6451.00083
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    Cited by:

    1. José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2000. "Closure and divestiture by foreign entrants: the impact of entry and post‐entry strategies," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 549-562, May.
    2. Holtz-Eakin Douglas & Rosen Harvey S, 2005. "Cash Constraints and Business Start-Ups: Deutschmarks Versus Dollars," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-28, February.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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