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When is Gibrat’s law a law?

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  • Sven-Olov Daunfeldt
  • Niklas Elert

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to investigate if the industry context matters for whether Gibrat’s law is rejected or not using a dataset that consists of all limited firms in five-digit NACE-industries in Sweden during 1998–2004. The results reject Gibrat’s law on an aggregate level, since small firms grow faster than large firms. However, Gibrat’s law is confirmed about as often as it is rejected when industry-specific regressions are estimated. It is also found that the industry context—e.g., minimum efficient scale, market concentration rate, and number of young firms in the industry—matters for whether Gibrat’s law is rejected or not. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

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  • Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Niklas Elert, 2013. "When is Gibrat’s law a law?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 133-147, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:41:y:2013:i:1:p:133-147
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-011-9404-x
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm growth; Firm size; Job creation; Small firms; D22; L11; L25; L26;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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