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Gibrat, Galton and Job Generation

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  • Peter Hart
  • Nicholas Oulton

Abstract

The proportionate growth of a company decreases with increases in its initial size, in accordance with the Galton model of regression towards the mean. Gibrat's Law of proportionate effect does not hold within size classes or within industries. In job generation accounting, actual increases in employment are even more important than proportionate ones. In the UK small and medium sized companies had larger absolute and proportionate increases in employment than did large companies and were responsible for most of the increase in jobs 1989-93. In fact large companies tended to reduce the numbers they employed.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Hart & Nicholas Oulton, 1999. "Gibrat, Galton and Job Generation," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(2), pages 149-164.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:6:y:1999:i:2:p:149-164 DOI: 10.1080/13571519984197
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 297-315.
    4. Hart, Peter E & Oulton, Nicholas, 1996. "Growth and Size of Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1242-1252, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. L. Crosato & P. Ganugi, 2007. "Statistical regularity of firm size distribution: the Pareto IV and truncated Yule for Italian SCI manufacturing," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, pages 85-115.
    2. Almus, Matthias, 2001. "Das Wachstum junger Unternehmen: Eine Bestandsaufnahme 10 Jahre nach der Wiedervereinigung," ZEW Discussion Papers 01-40, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. Thurik, A. Roy & Carree, Martin A. & van Stel, André & Audretsch, David B., 2008. "Does self-employment reduce unemployment?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, pages 673-686.
    4. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "The Anatomy of the Firm Size Distribution: The Evolution of its Variance and Skewness," WIFO Working Papers 295, WIFO.
    5. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2008. "The dynamics of the growth of firms: evidence from the services sector," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, pages 293-312.
    6. Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "Generalizing Gibrat: Reasonable Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, pages 1-2.
    7. D.B. Audretsch & L. Klomp & E. Santarelli & A.R. Thurik, 2004. "Gibrat's Law: Are the Services Different?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 24(3), pages 301-324, May.
    8. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Industry Dynamics and the Distribution of Firm Sizes: A Nonparametric Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 443-466, January.
    9. Jan Bentzen & Erik Madsen & Valdemar Smith, 2012. "Do firms’ growth rates depend on firm size?," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 937-947.
    10. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Elert, Niklas & Lang, Åsa, 2011. "Does Gibrat’s Law Hold for Retailing? Evidence from Sweden," Ratio Working Papers 164, The Ratio Institute.
    11. Aeron, Prageet & Jain, Rekha, 2011. "Opportunity Recognition in High Tech and Regulatory Environment: A study of product based Indian Telecom start-ups," IIMA Working Papers WP2011-02-09, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Research and Publication Department.
    12. Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "Firm Growth Under Sample Selection: Conditional σ-Convergence in Firm Size?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 31(4), pages 303-328, December.
    13. Bentzen, Jan & Madsen, Erik Strøjer & Smith, Valdemar, 2006. "The Growth Opportunities for SMEs?," Working Papers 06-3, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    14. Elena Cefis & Luigi Orsenigo & Matteo Ciccarelli, 2002. "From Gibrat'S Legacy To Gibrat'S Fallacy. A Bayesian Approach To Study The Growth Of Firms," Working Papers. Serie AD 2002-19, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    15. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2008. "The dynamics of the growth of firms: evidence from the services sector," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, pages 293-312.
    16. Rui Baptista & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Unemployment: is Portugal an Outlier?," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-40, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    17. Joseph LiPuma & Scott Newbert & Jonathan Doh, 2013. "The effect of institutional quality on firm export performance in emerging economies: a contingency model of firm age and size," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 817-841.
    18. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli, 2001. "Is firm growth proportional? An appraisal of firm size distribution," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 12(6), pages 1-7.
    19. Blandina Oliveira & Adelino Fortunato, 2005. "Firm Growth and Persistence of Chance: Evidence from Portuguese Microdata," GEMF Working Papers 2005-10, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    20. Marko Peric & Vanja Vitezic, 2016. "Impact of global economic crisis on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 1-12.
    21. Matteo Richiardi, 2004. "Generalizing Gibrat: Reasonable Multiplicative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, pages 1-2.
    22. P. Hart, 2000. "Theories of Firms' Growth and the Generation of Jobs," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 17(3), pages 229-248, November.
    23. Marko Peric & Vanja Vitezic, 2016. "Impact of global economic crisis on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 1-12.
    24. D.B. Audretsch & M.A. Carree & A.R. Thurik, 2001. "Does Entrepreneurship reduce Unemployment?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-074/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Oct 2008.

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    Keywords

    Gibrat; Job Creation; Small Firms; Growth;

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