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The U.S. establishment-size distribution: secular changes and sectoral decomposition

  • Samuel E. Henly
  • Juan M. Sanchez

This article studies the U.S. establishment-size distribution from 1974–2006. The main findings are: (i) the size of the “representative” establishment is relatively constant; (ii) the size distribution has become slightly more evenly distributed; (iii) the relative stability of aggregate statistics obscures important movements in the manufacturing and service sectors; (iv) both intra- and intersector changes contribute to aggregate changes; and (v) changes in the size distribution of firms are similar to those of establishments. These findings will be useful to calibrate and test models with firms/establishments heterogeneity.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its journal Economic Quarterly.

Volume (Year): (2009)
Issue (Month): Fall ()
Pages: 419-454

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedreq:y:2009:i:fall:p:419-454:n:v.95no.4
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  11. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  12. Banerjee, Abhijit V. & Duflo, Esther, 2005. "Growth Theory through the Lens of Development Economics," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 473-552 Elsevier.
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