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Box-Cox quantile regression and the distribution of firm sizes

  • Jose A. F. Machado

    (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Travessa Estev�o Pinto, 1099-032 Lisboa, Portugal)

  • Jose Mata

    (Instituto Superior Tecnico and CEPR, Portugal)

Using the Box-Cox quantile regression model, we analyse the size distribution of firms in Portuguese manufacturing during the 1980s. Specifically, we estimate the effect of selected industry attributes on the location, scale, skewness and kurtosis of the conditional size distributions of firms. We find that industry attributes affect the size of firms in the same direction across the distribution, but the effects of these variables are typically much greater at the largest quantiles. Over time the distribution shifted towards smaller firms, due mainly to the way the economy responds to industry characteristics rather than to changes of the level of these characteristics. The prediction of lognormality, implied by Gibrat's Law, is soundly rejected by the observed distribution of firm sizes. However, we found that, at least in 1983, lognormality is a reasonable description of the conditional size distribution. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2000)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 253-274

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:15:y:2000:i:3:p:253-274
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  1. Schmalensee, Richard., 1987. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Working papers 1874-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Mills, David E & Schumann, Laurence, 1985. "Industry Structure with Fluctuating Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 758-67, September.
  3. Lu�s M B Cabral & Jos� Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
  4. Mata, Jose & Machado, Jose A. F., 1996. "Firm start-up size: A conditional quantile approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(6), pages 1305-1323, June.
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  8. Fitzenberger, Bernd, 1998. "The moving blocks bootstrap and robust inference for linear least squares and quantile regressions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 235-287, February.
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  10. White, Lawrence J, 1982. "The Determinants of the Relative Importance of Small Business," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 42-49, February.
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  13. 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.
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