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On the robustness of location estimators in models of firm growth under heavy-tailedness

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  • Ibragimov, Rustam

Abstract

Focusing on the model of demand-driven innovation and spatial competition over time in Jovanovic and Rob (1987), we study the effects of the robustness of estimators employed by firms to make inferences about their markets on the firms’ growth patterns. We show that if consumers’ signals in the model are moderately heavy-tailed and the firms use the sample mean of the signals to estimate the ideal product, then the firms’ output levels exhibit positive persistence. In such a setting, large firms have an advantage over their smaller counterparts. These properties are reversed for signals with extremely heavy-tailed distributions. In such a case, the model implies anti-persistence in output levels, together with a surprising pattern of oscillations in firm sizes, with smaller firms being likely to become larger ones next period, and vice versa. We further show that the implications of the model under moderate heavy-tailedness continue to hold under the only assumption of symmetry of consumers’ signals if the firms use a more robust estimator of the ideal product, the sample median.

Suggested Citation

  • Ibragimov, Rustam, 2014. "On the robustness of location estimators in models of firm growth under heavy-tailedness," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 181(1), pages 25-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:181:y:2014:i:1:p:25-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2014.02.005
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Robustness; Location estimators; Heavy-tailed distributions; Demand-driven innovation; Spatial competition; Firm growth; Signals; Investment; Information; Sample mean; Sample median; Majorization;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing

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