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The Growth of Business Firms: Theoretical Framework and Empirical Evidence

  • Dongfeng Fu

    (Boston USA)

  • Fabio Pammolli

    (Boston USA
    Milan Italy
    Lucca Italy)

  • S. V. Buldyrev

    (New York NY)

  • Massimo Riccaboni

    (Milan Italy
    Lucca Italy)

  • Kaushik Matia

    (Boston USA)

  • Kazuko Yamasaki

    (Chiba City, Japan)

  • H. E. Stanley

    (Boston USA)

We introduce a model of proportional growth to explain the distribution of business firm growth rates. The model predicts that the distribution is exponential in the central part and depicts an asymptotic power-law behavior in the tails with an exponent 3. Because of data limitations, previous studies in this field have been focusing exclusively on the Laplace shape of the body of the distribution. In this article, we test the model at different levels of aggregation in the economy, from products to firms to countries, and we find that the model's predictions agree with empirical growth distributions and size-variance relationships.

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Paper provided by in its series Papers with number physics/0512005.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:physics/0512005
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  1. Kaushik Matia & Dongfeng Fu & Sergey V. Buldyrev & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni & H. Eugene Stanley, 2005. "Statistical Properties of Business Firms Structure and Growth," Papers physics/0502081,
  2. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  3. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. S. V. Buldyrev & L. A. N. Amaral & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: II. Modeling of company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702085,
  6. Canning, D. & Amaral, L. A. N. & Lee, Y. & Meyer, M. & Stanley, H. E., 1998. "Scaling the volatility of GDP growth rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(3), pages 335-341, September.
  7. De Fabritiis, Gianni & Riccaboni, Massimo & Pammolli, Fabio, 2003. "On Size and Growth of Business Firms," MPRA Paper 15866, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  9. L. A. N. Amaral & S. V. Buldyrev & S. Havlin & H. Leschhorn & P. Maass & M. A. Salinger & H. E. Stanley & M. H. R. Stanley, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: I. Empirical results for company growth," Papers cond-mat/9702082,
  10. Youngki Lee & Luis A. N. Amaral & David Canning & Martin Meyer & H. Eugene Stanley, 1998. "Universal features in the growth dynamics of complex organizations," Papers cond-mat/9804100,
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