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Corporate performances and market selection: some comparative evidence

  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Giovanni Dosi
  • Nadia Jacoby
  • Angelo Secchi
  • Federico Tamagni

Diverse theories of industry dynamics predict heterogeneity in production efficiency to be the driver of firms' growth, survival, and industrial change, either through a direct link between efficiency and growth, or through an indirect effect via profitabilities, as more productive firms can enjoy higher profit margins which, under imperfect capital markets, allow them to invest and grow more. Does the empirical evidence bear out such predictions? This article explores the dynamics of selection and reallocation through an investigation of the relations linking productivity, profitability and growth at the firm level. Exploiting large panels of Italian and French industrial firms, we find that heterogeneity in efficiencies primarily yields persistent profitability differentials, whereas the relationships of corporate growth with either productivity or profitability appear much weaker, if at all existent. This suggests that selection forces are much less strong than usually assumed. The results robustly apply across different industrial sectors and across the two countries. 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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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 1953-1996

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:19:y:2010:i:6:p:1953-1996
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