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Re-examination of the size distribution of firms

Listed author(s):
  • Taisei Kaizoji
  • Hiroshi Iyetomi
  • Yuichi Ikeda

In this paper we address the question of the size distribution of firms. To this aim, we use the Bloomberg database comprising multinational firms within the years 1995-2003, and analyze the data of the sales and the total assets of the separate financial statement of the Japanese and the US companies, and make a comparison of the size distributions between the Japanese companies and the US companies. We find that (i) the size distribution of the US firms is approximately log-normal, in agreement with Gibrat's observation (Gibrat 1931), and in contrast (ii) the size distribution of the Japanese firms is clearly not log-normal, and the upper tail of the size distribution follows the Pareto law. It agree with the predictions of the Simon model (Simon 1955). Key words: the size distribution of firms, the Gibrat's law, and the Pareto law

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Paper provided by in its series Papers with number physics/0512124.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
Date of revision: Mar 2006
Publication status: Published in Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review 2-2 (2006)
Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:physics/0512124
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  1. Ijiri, Yuji & Simon, Herbert A, 1971. "Effects of Mergers and Acquisitions on Business Firm Concentration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(2), pages 314-322, March-Apr.
  2. Ijiri, Yuji & Simon, Herbert A, 1974. "Interpretations of Departures from the Pareto Curve Firm-Size Distributions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 315-331, Part I, M.
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