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Firm size distribution and mobility of the top 500 firms in China, the United States and the world

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  • Guo, Jinzhong
  • Xu, Qi
  • Chen, Qinghua
  • Wang, Yougui

Abstract

This paper considers the macroscopic and microscopic statistical features of the top 500 firms in China, the United States and the world, denoted as China 500 (CH500), Fortune 500 (US500) and Fortune Global 500 (FG500). From a macroscopic perspective, the firm size distribution of each category, when measured by revenue, is steadily distributed over the observed period, even during periods of financial crises. As is evidenced by the Gini coefficient, divergences between firm scales are most significant for the CH500. From a microscopic perspective, the underlying micro-dynamics are volatile and often turbulent due to the exit and entry of firms as well as shifts in their revenues and ranks. Such fluctuations, or mobility, are visualized in rank/revenue/share clocks. We also propose a revenue/rank/share mobility index that is a quantitative measurement of mobility. Among these, we find that the share mobility acts as an effective indicator of economic status; where there is a share mobility spike, there is an ailing economy. The share mobility indexes indicate that the 2008 Financial Crisis had little impact on the Chinese economy, while it triggered violent changes in the top 500 firms in the United States and the world.

Suggested Citation

  • Guo, Jinzhong & Xu, Qi & Chen, Qinghua & Wang, Yougui, 2013. "Firm size distribution and mobility of the top 500 firms in China, the United States and the world," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(13), pages 2903-2914.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:392:y:2013:i:13:p:2903-2914
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2012.12.042
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Gao, Li, 2015. "Evolution of consumption distribution and model of wealth distribution in China between 1995 and 2012," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 429(C), pages 76-86.
    2. Gao, Baojun & Chan, Wai Kin (Victor) & Li, Hongyi, 2015. "On the increasing inequality in size distribution of China's listed companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 25-41.
    3. Soriano-Hernández, P. & del Castillo-Mussot, M. & Campirán-Chávez, I. & Montemayor-Aldrete, J.A., 2017. "Wealth of the world’s richest publicly traded companies per industry and per employee: Gamma, Log-normal and Pareto power-law as universal distributions?," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 471(C), pages 733-749.

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