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Firm Size Distribution and Growth

  • Patrizio Pagano

    ()

    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    ()

    (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

We empirically characterize the sectoral distribution of firm size for a set of European countries, finding substantial differences. We then study the relationship between productivity growth at the sectoral level and size structure. We find a positive and robust association between average firm size and growth. Asking why size should matter for growth, we consider the role of innovative activity, to construct a test based on the differential effect of size on growth according to various indicators of R&D intensity at the sectoral level. Our results indicate that larger size fosters productivity growth because it allows firms to take advantage of all the increasing returns associated with R&D. We finally argue that our test can be interpreted as a test of reverse causality, which lends support to the view of firm size having a causal impact on growth.

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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 394.

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Date of creation: Feb 2001
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_394_01
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  2. Angel de la Fuente & Rafael Donénech, 2000. "Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How much Difference Does Data Quality Make?," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 262, OECD Publishing.
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  8. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. " Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-315, August.
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  12. Peretto, Pietro F., 1996. "Firm Size, Rivalry and the Extent of the Market in Endogenous Technological Change," Working Papers 96-07, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  13. Peretto, Pietro F., 1999. "Cost reduction, entry, and the interdependence of market structure and economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 173-195, February.
  14. Mary Amiti, 1997. "Specialisation Patterns in Europe," CEP Discussion Papers dp0363, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  15. Peretto, Pietro F, 1998. " Technological Change, Market Rivalry, and the Evolution of the Capitalist Engine of Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 3(1), pages 53-80, March.
  16. Boozer, Michael A., 1997. "Econometric Analysis of Panel Data Badi H. Baltagi Wiley, 1995," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(05), pages 747-754, October.
  17. M. Carree & A. Thurik, 1998. "Small firms and economic growth in europe," Atlantic Economic Journal, International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 26(2), pages 137-146, June.
  18. Bernard, Andrew B & Jones, Charles I, 1996. "Comparing Apples to Oranges: Productivity Convergence and Measurement across Industries and Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1216-38, December.
  19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  20. Matteo Bugamelli, 2001. "Il modello di specializzazione internazionale dell'Italia e dei principali paesi europei: omogeneit� e convergenza," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 402, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  21. Budd, Christopher & Harris, Christopher & Vickers, John, 1993. "A Model of the Evolution of Duopoly: Does the Asymmetry between Firms Tend to Increase or Decrease?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 543-73, July.
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