IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/pal/easeco/v38y2012i2p189-209.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Firms as Bundles of Discrete Resources – Towards an Explanation of the Exponential Distribution of Firm Growth Rates

Author

Listed:
  • Alex Coad

    () (SPRU, University of Sussex, Freeman Centre, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QE, UK.)

  • Max Planck

    (Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group, Kahlaische Strasse 10, D-07745 Jena, Germany)

Abstract

A robust feature of the corporate growth process is the Laplace, or symmetric exponential, distribution of firm growth rates. In this paper, we sketch out a class of simple theoretical models capable of explaining this empirical regularity. We do not attempt to generalize on where growth opportunities come from, but rather we focus on how firms build upon growth opportunities. We base ourselves on Penrose's (1959) description of firm growth to explain how the interdependent nature of discrete resources may lead to the triggering off of a series of additions to a firm's resources. In a first formal model, we consider the case of employment growth in a hierarchy, and observe that growth rates follow an exponential distribution. In a second model, we include plant and capital as resources and we are able to reproduce a number of stylized facts about firm growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Coad & Max Planck, 2012. "Firms as Bundles of Discrete Resources – Towards an Explanation of the Exponential Distribution of Firm Growth Rates," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 189-209.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:38:y:2012:i:2:p:189-209
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eej/journal/v38/n2/pdf/eej201067a.pdf
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/eej/journal/v38/n2/full/eej201067a.html
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alex Coad & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Daniel Halvarsson, 2018. "Bursting into life: firm growth and growth persistence by age," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 55-75, January.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:easeco:v:38:y:2012:i:2:p:189-209. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://www.palgrave-journals.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.