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Corporate growth and industrial dynamics: evidence from French manufacturing

  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Alex Coad
  • Nadia Jacoby
  • Angelo Secchi

This work explores basic properties of the size and growth rates distributions of firms at the aggregate and disaggregate levels. Using an extensive dataset on French manufacturing firms, we investigate which properties of firm size distributions and growth dynamics characterize the aggregate dynamics and are, at the same time, robust under disaggregation. Our analysis is based on nonlinear robust regression methods which have never been applied before to this kind of data. The growth rates distributions we observe are well described by a Subbotin distribution with a shape parameter significantly lower than 1, suggesting a noticeable departure from the Laplace behaviour reported in previous works on Italian and the US data. At the same time, the variance of growth rates depends negatively on size and the relationship does not seem to be linear, with larger firms possibly displaying lower variability in their growth dynamics. At the disaggregate level, we observe significant heterogeneity in the firm size distributions across sectors, while the shape of the sectoral growth rates density displays a surprising degree of homogeneity.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 43 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 103-116

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2011:i:1:p:103-116
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  1. Evans, David S., 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 86-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Singh, Ajit & Whittington, Geoffrey, 1975. "The Size and Growth of Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 15-26, January.
  3. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Explaining the Distribution of Firms Growth Rates," LEM Papers Series 2005/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  4. Prais, Sigmund J, 1974. "A New Look at the Growth of Industrial Concentration," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(2), pages 273-88, July.
  5. Nunes Amaral, Luís A & Buldyrev, Sergey V & Havlin, Shlomo & Maass, Philipp & Salinger, Michael A & Eugene Stanley, H & Stanley, Michael H.R, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: The problem of quantifying company growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 1-24.
  6. Giulio Bottazzi & Elena Cefis & Giovanni Dosi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Invariances and Diversities in the Evolution of Manufacturing Industries," LEM Papers Series 2003/21, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. James G. MacKinnon & Halbert White, 1983. "Some Heteroskedasticity Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimators with Improved Finite Sample Properties," Working Papers 537, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Alex Coad, 2006. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," LEM Papers Series 2006/29, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  9. J. O. S. Wilson & J. M. Williams, 2000. "The size and growth of banks: evidence from four European countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(9), pages 1101-1109.
  10. Alexander Coad, 2007. "Firm Growth: A Survey," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  11. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  12. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3_4), pages 217-232, December.
  13. Bottazzi, Giulio & Dosi, Giovanni & Lippi, Marco & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo, 2001. "Innovation and corporate growth in the evolution of the drug industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(7), pages 1161-1187, July.
  14. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  15. Chesher, Andrew, 1979. "Testing the Law of Proportionate Effect," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 403-11, June.
  16. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  17. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Growth and Diversification Patterns of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 26(2), pages 195-216, December.
  18. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2001. "The relationship between size and growth: the case of Italian newborn firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(7), pages 451-454.
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