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Explaining the distribution of firm growth rates

  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Angelo Secchi

Empirical analyses on aggregated datasets have revealed a common exponential behavior in the shape of the probability density of the corporate growth rates. We present clearcut evidence on this topic using disaggregated data. We explain the observed regularities proposing a model in which the firms’ ability of taking up new business opportunities increases with the number of opportunities already exploited. A theoretical result is presented for the limiting case in which the number of firms and opportunities go to infinity. Moreover, using simulations, we show that even in a small industry the agreement with asymptotic results is almost complete.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1756-2171.2006.tb00014.x
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Article provided by RAND Corporation in its journal RAND Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2006)
Issue (Month): 2 (06)
Pages: 235-256

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Handle: RePEc:bla:randje:v:37:y:2006:i:2:p:235-256
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  1. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  3. Bottazzi, Giulio & Dosi, Giovanni & Lippi, Marco & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Innovation and corporate growth in the evolution of the drug industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1161-1187, July.
  4. Singh, Ajit & Whittington, Geoffrey, 1975. "The Size and Growth of Firms," MPRA Paper 51715, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  7. Rebecca Henderson & Iain Cockburn, . "Scale, Scope and Spillovers: The Determinants of Research Productivity in Drug Discovery," Working Papers ec25/94, Department of Economics, University of Lancaster.
  8. Evans, David S, 1987. "Tests of Alternative Theories of Firm Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 657-74, August.
  9. Geroski, Paul A, 1999. "The Growth of Firms in Theory and in Practice," CEPR Discussion Papers 2092, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Giulio Bottazzi & Elena Cefis & Giovanni Dosi, 2002. "Corporate growth and industrial structures: some evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 705-723, August.
  11. Gerald Silverberg & Bart Verspagen, 2003. "Breaking the waves: a Poisson regression approach to Schumpeterian clustering of basic innovations," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 671-693, September.
  12. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 217-232, December.
  13. L. A. N. Amaral & S. V. Buldyrev & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: I. Empirical results for company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702082, arXiv.org.
  14. Ericson, Richard & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Markov-Perfect Industry Dynamics: A Framework for Empirical Work," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 53-82, January.
  15. Bottazzi, Giulio & Secchi, Angelo, 2003. "Why are distributions of firm growth rates tent-shaped?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 415-420, September.
  16. G. Bottazzi & E. Cefis & G. Dosi & A. Secchi, 2003. "Invariances and Diversities in the Evolution of Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 03-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
  17. repec:dgr:tuecis:0016 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Does Gibrat's Law hold among young, small firms?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 213-235, August.
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