IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A generalized preferential attachment model for business firms growth rates


  • S. V. Buldyrev


  • F. Pammolli
  • M. Riccaboni
  • K. Yamasaki
  • D.-F. Fu
  • K. Matia
  • H. E. Stanley


We present a preferential attachment growth model to obtain the distribution P(K) of number of units K in the classes which may represent business firms or other socio-economic entities. We found that P(K) is described in its central part by a power law with an exponent ϕ=2+b/(1-b) which depends on the probability of entry of new classes, b. In a particular problem of city population this distribution is equivalent to the well known Zipf law. In the absence of the new classes entry, the distribution P(K) is exponential. Using analytical form of P(K) and assuming proportional growth for units, we derive P(g), the distribution of business firm growth rates. The model predicts that P(g) has a Laplacian cusp in the central part and asymptotic power-law tails with an exponent ζ=3. We test the analytical expressions derived using heuristic arguments by simulations. The model might also explain the size-variance relationship of the firm growth rates. Copyright EDP Sciences/Società Italiana di Fisica/Springer-Verlag 2007

Suggested Citation

  • S. V. Buldyrev & F. Pammolli & M. Riccaboni & K. Yamasaki & D.-F. Fu & K. Matia & H. E. Stanley, 2007. "A generalized preferential attachment model for business firms growth rates," The European Physical Journal B: Condensed Matter and Complex Systems, Springer;EDP Sciences, vol. 57(2), pages 131-138, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:eurphb:v:57:y:2007:i:2:p:131-138
    DOI: 10.1140/epjb/e2007-00165-8

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    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:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Cristelli & L. Pietronero & A. Zaccaria, 2011. "Critical Overview of Agent-Based Models for Economics," Papers 1101.1847,
    2. N. Lesca, 2010. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00640602, HAL.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Yuichi Ikeda & Hideaki Aoyama & Hiroshi Iyetomi & Yoshi Fujiwara & Wataru Souma, 2008. "Correlated performance of firms in a transaction network," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 3(1), pages 73-80, June.
    2. Alfarano, Simone & Milakovic, Mishael, 2008. "Does classical competition explain the statistical features of firm growth?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 272-274, December.
    3. Kaldasch, Joachim, 2012. "Evolutionary model of the personal income distribution," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(22), pages 5628-5642.
    4. Hisano, Ryohei & Mizuno, Takayuki, 2011. "Sales distribution of consumer electronics," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(2), pages 309-318.
    5. Alfarano, Simone & Milaković, Mishael & Irle, Albrecht & Kauschke, Jonas, 2012. "A statistical equilibrium model of competitive firms," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 136-149.
    6. Wagner, Friedrich & Milaković, Mishael & Alfarano, Simone, 2010. "Firm profitability and the network of organizational capabilities," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(21), pages 4769-4775.
    7. ARATA Yoshiyuki, 2014. "Are There Any Empirical Regularities of Firms' Growth Patterns? The importance of large jumps," Discussion papers 14033, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    8. repec:eee:phsmap:v:481:y:2017:i:c:p:265-275 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Bee, Marco & Riccaboni, Massimo & Schiavo, Stefano, 2017. "Where Gibrat meets Zipf: Scale and scope of French firms," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 481(C), pages 265-275.


    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:spr:eurphb:v:57:y:2007:i:2:p:131-138. 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: .

    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.