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Why So Small? Explaining the Size of Firms in Latin America

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  • Ana María Herrera
  • Eduardo Lora

Abstract

On average, Latin American firms are small with respect to world patterns, both in terms of the quantity of assets they control and the amount of employment they generate. We examine data on firm size from developed and developing countries around the world to assess the influence of demand, supply and institutional factors on the size of the largest firms in each country. We find that, besides the size of the economy and the level of income per capita, the key determinants of the size of firms are trade openness, stock market capitalisation and physical infrastructure. Our simulations suggest that if the gaps with respect to the best Latin American performer were closed in each of these three areas, firm size in the countries of the region would - on average - reach world patterns. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Ana María Herrera & Eduardo Lora, 2005. "Why So Small? Explaining the Size of Firms in Latin America," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(7), pages 1005-1028, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:28:y:2005:i:7:p:1005-1028
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    1. repec:spr:manint:v:49:y:2009:i:4:d:10.1007_s11575-009-0005-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "The Divide between Subsistence and Transformational Entrepreneurship," NBER Chapters,in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 10, pages 57-81 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cheema, Khaliq Ur Rehman & Rehman, Fawad Ur, 2011. "Effect of RFID on Organizational Performance: The Mediating Role of Supply Chain Performance," MPRA Paper 53191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Nurullah Gur, 2012. "Financial Constraints, Quality of Institutions and Firm Size: What Do Perceptions Tell Us?," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 2(2), pages 17-36, December.
    5. Alvaro CUERVO-CAZURRA & Luis Alfonso DAU, 2008. "Structural Reform And Firm Profitability In Developing Countries," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp940, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.

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