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Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies

  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Angelo Secchi

The size distribution and growth rate dynamics of U.S. companieshave been extensively studied by many authors. In this paper,using the COMPUSTAT database, we extend the analysis todisaggregated data, studying 15 sectors of the U.S.manufacturing industry. The sectoral investigation reveals thepresence of general statistical properties that can be consideredvalid across all the studied sectors. In particular, theprobability density of firms growth rates invariably displays acharacteristic tent shape and the relation between the size of afirm and the variance of its rates of growth is characterized, indifferent sectors, by very similar scaling relations. Thepresence of characteristics that are robust and sectoral invarianthints at the existence of generic statistical properties shapingthe dynamic of firms across the whole industry. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 23 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 217-232

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Handle: RePEc:kap:revind:v:23:y:2003:i:3:p:217-232
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  1. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  2. Giulio Bottazzi, 2001. "Firm Diversification and the Law of Proportionate Effect," LEM Papers Series 2001/01, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  3. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  4. Giulio Bottazzi & Elena Cefis & Giovanni Dosi, 2002. "Corporate growth and industrial structures: some evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 705-723, August.
  5. Bottazzi, Giulio & Dosi, Giovanni & Lippi, Marco & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Innovation and corporate growth in the evolution of the drug industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1161-1187, July.
  6. Bottazzi, Giulio & Secchi, Angelo, 2003. "A stochastic model of firm growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 213-219.
  7. Stanley, Michael H. R. & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Havlin, Shlomo & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Salinger, Michael A. & Eugene Stanley, H., 1995. "Zipf plots and the size distribution of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
  8. Nunes Amaral, Luís A & Buldyrev, Sergey V & Havlin, Shlomo & Maass, Philipp & Salinger, Michael A & Eugene Stanley, H & Stanley, Michael H.R, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: The problem of quantifying company growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 1-24.
  9. Bottazzi, Giulio & Secchi, Angelo, 2003. "Why are distributions of firm growth rates tent-shaped?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 415-420, September.
  10. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
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