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Generalizing Gibrat: Reasonable Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics

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Abstract

Multiplicative models of firm dynamics á la Gibrat have become a standard reference in industrial organization. However, some unpleasant properties of their implied dynamics - namely, their explosive or implosive behaviour (firm size and number collapsing to zero or increasing indefinitely) - have been given only very little attention. In this paper I investigate using simulations which modifications to the standard multiplicative model of firm dynamics lead to stable (and reasonable) distributions of firm size. I show that in order to obtain stable systems for a wide range of average growth rate, either heteroskedasticity in the growth rates has to be assumed, or entry and exit mechanisms included. In particular I show that combining the broad class of threshold entry mechanisms and the more restricted class of threshold exit mechanisms with overcapacity penalizing all firms (where entry and exit are determined with reference to an exogenously defined total capacity of the market), lead to stable distributions even in the case of growth rate homoskedasticity, given a non-zero minimum threshold for firm size.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "Generalizing Gibrat: Reasonable Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 7(1), pages 1-2.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2003-16-2
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    Cited by:

    1. Guido Fioretti, 2005. "The Production Function," Papers physics/0511191, arXiv.org.
    2. Navarro-Barrientos, Jesús Emeterio & Cantero-Álvarez, Rubén & Matias Rodrigues, João F. & Schweitzer, Frank, 2008. "Investments in random environments," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(8), pages 2035-2046.
    3. Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2012. "An appraisal of firm size distribution: Does sample size matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 314-328.
    4. Fioretti, Guido, 2007. "The production function," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 374(2), pages 707-714.
    5. Delli Gatti, Domenico & Di Guilmi, Corrado & Gaffeo, Edoardo & Gallegati, Mauro, 2004. "Bankruptcy as an exit mechanism for systems with a variable number of components," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 344(1), pages 8-13.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm Growth; Gibrat's Law; Entry; Exit;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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