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Understanding the implications of empirical work on corporate growth rates

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  • P. A. Geroski

    (London Business School, UK)

Abstract

This paper builds on the empirical literature on corporate growth rates - which suggests that corporate growth rates are very nearly random - and asks whether this empirical work is consistent with standard theories of the firm. We examine both static and dynamic optimizing models of firm output choice, before moving on to examine production functions modelling of corporate learning, models of R&D competition and diversification. In all cases, it seems clear that random corporate growth rates are more or less exactly what one would expect these models to predict. However, the literature on Penrose effects - dynamic managerial limitations to growth - and corporate competencies are not easy to reconcile with random corporate growth rates. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • P. A. Geroski, 2005. "Understanding the implications of empirical work on corporate growth rates," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(2), pages 129-138.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:mgtdec:v:26:y:2005:i:2:p:129-138
    DOI: 10.1002/mde.1207
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/mde.1207
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    1. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    2. Geroski, P. A. & Van Reenen, J. & Walters, C. F., 1997. "How persistently do firms innovate?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-48, March.
    3. Slater, Martin, 1980. "The Managerial Limitation to the Growth of Firms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 90(3593), pages 520-528, September.
    4. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
    5. Geroski, Paul A & Machin, Stephen & Walters, Christopher F, 1997. "Corporate Growth and Profitability," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(2), pages 171-189, June.
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