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Are there non-linearities between SME growth and its determinants? A quantile approach


  • Zélia Serrasqueiro
  • Paulo Maçãs Nunes
  • João Leitão
  • Manuel Armada


This article uses quantile regressions to study the relationship between the growth of Portuguese small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and its determinants. To control a sample selection bias, we use a two-step estimation. In the first stage, we verified that past growth, size, age, R&D intensity, and cash flow are important determinants for the survival of Portuguese SMEs. Then, after controlling for possible bias of data, we now find that relationships between determinants and growth in Portuguese SMEs present significant non-linearities over growth distribution: (i) Gibrat's Law cannot be rejected in the context of reductions in the size of Portuguese SMEs, but is rejected when company size increases; (ii) debt and R&D intensity are restrictive determinants of Portuguese SME growth when there is reduction in size, being determinants promoting growth in the case of increased size; (iii) age is a restrictive factor of Portuguese SME growth only when there is an increase in size; and (iv) cash flow, although a determinant promoting Portuguese SME growth regardless of the level of growth, takes on greater importance when there is a reduction in size. Copyright 2010 The Author 2010. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

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  • Zélia Serrasqueiro & Paulo Maçãs Nunes & João Leitão & Manuel Armada, 2010. "Are there non-linearities between SME growth and its determinants? A quantile approach," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 1071-1108, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:19:y:2010:i:4:p:1071-1108

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    2. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2012. "Measuring Firms' Financial Constraints: A Rough Guide," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 36, pages 23-46, December.
    3. Marco Capasso & Elena Cefis & Alessandro Sapio, 2013. "Reconciling quantile autoregressions of firm size and variance–size scaling," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 609-632, October.
    4. Sánchez-Vidal, F. Javier, 2014. "High debt companies' leverage determinants in Spain: A quantile regression approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 455-465.
    5. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Davide Castellani & Fabio Pieri, 2014. "Age and firm growth: evidence from three European countries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 823-837, December.
    6. Fabio Pieri, 2015. "Vertical organization of production and firm growth behavior," Working Papers 1508, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    7. Fabio Pieri, 2016. "Vertical organization of production and firm growth," DEM Working Papers 2016/01, Department of Economics and Management.
    8. Paulo Nunes & Marco Gonçalves & Zélia Serrasqueiro, 2013. "The influence of age on SMEs’ growth determinants: empirical evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 249-272, February.
    9. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2013. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 173-189.
    10. repec:ura:ecregj:v:1:y:2017:i:3:p:803-811 is not listed on IDEAS
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