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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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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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    Cited by:

    1. Jesús Cuaresma & Harald Oberhofer & Gallina Vincelette, 2014. "Institutional barriers and job creation in Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-29, December.
    2. Marco Corsino, 2008. "Product Innovation and Growth: The Case of Integrated Circuits," ROCK Working Papers 047, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 23 Jun 2008.
    3. Marco Capasso & Tania Treibich & Bart Verspagen, 2015. "The medium-term effect of R&D on firm growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 39-62, June.
    4. Harald Oberhofer & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2013. "Firm growth in multinational corporate groups," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1435-1453, June.
    5. Alessandro Gambini & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Long-lasting bank relationships and growth of firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 977-1007, May.
    6. Oberhofer, Harald & Vincelette, Gallina A, 2013. "Determinants of job creation in eleven new EU member states : evidence from firm level data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6533, The World Bank.
    7. Chen, Pao-Lien & Tan, Danchi & Jean, Ruey-Jer “Bryan”, 2016. "Foreign knowledge acquisition through inter-firm collaboration and recruitment: Implications for domestic growth of emerging market firms," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 221-232.
    8. Harald Oberhofer, 2012. "Firm Growth, European Industry Dynamics and Domestic Business Cycles," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 59(3), pages 316-337, July.
    9. Peter Huber & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2007. "The Anatomy of the Firm Size Distribution: The Evolution of its Variance and Skewness," WIFO Working Papers 295, WIFO.
    10. Coad, Alex & Rao, Rekha, 2008. "Innovation and firm growth in high-tech sectors: A quantile regression approach," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 633-648, May.
    11. Almuhanad Melhim & Erik J. O'Donoghue & C. Richard Shumway, 2009. "Do the Largest Firms Grow and Diversify the Fastest? The Case of U.S. Dairies," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 31(2), pages 284-302, June.
    12. Juan Federico & Joan-Lluis Capelleras, 2015. "The heterogeneous dynamics between growth and profits: the case of young firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 231-253, February.
    13. Habermann, Harald, 2017. "Business takeovers and firm growth: Empirical evidence from a German panel," Working Papers 01/17, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
    14. Elicia Maine & Daniel Shapiro & Aidan Vining, 2010. "The role of clustering in the growth of new technology-based firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 34(2), pages 127-146, February.
    15. Crespo Cuaresma, Jesus & Oberhofer, Harald & Vincelette, Gallina Andronova, 2014. "Firm growth and productivity in Belarus: New empirical evidence from the machine building industry," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 726-738.
    16. Giorgio Canarella & Stephen M. Miller, 2017. "The Determinants of Growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry: A Firm-Level Analysis," Working papers 2017-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    17. Riaz, Suhaib & Glenn Rowe, W. & Beamish, Paul W., 2014. "Expatriate-deployment levels and subsidiary growth: A temporal analysis," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-11.
    18. Matthias Deschryvere, 2014. "R&D, firm growth and the role of innovation persistence: an analysis of Finnish SMEs and large firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 767-785, December.
    19. García-Manjón, Juan V. & Romero-Merino, M. Elena, 2012. "Research, development, and firm growth. Empirical evidence from European top R&D spending firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1084-1092.
    20. 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.
    21. Erik Stam, 2010. "Growth beyond Gibrat: firm growth processes and strategies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 129-135, September.
    22. Andy Lockett & Johan Wiklund & Per Davidsson & Sourafel Girma, 2011. "Organic and Acquisitive Growth: Re‐examining, Testing and Extending Penrose's Growth Theory," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(1), pages 48-74, January.
    23. Grillitsch, Markus & Schubert, Torben & Srholec, Martin, 2016. "Knowledge diversity and firm growth: Searching for a missing link," Papers in Innovation Studies 2016/13, Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy.
    24. Harald Oberhofer, 2013. "Employment Effects of Acquisitions: Evidence from Acquired European Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 42(3), pages 345-363, May.
    25. Marco Cucculelli, 2017. "Firm age and the probability of product innovation. Do CEO tenure and product tenure matter?," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 140, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.

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