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Firm Size Distribution and Growth

Author

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  • Patrizio Pagano

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    () (Bank of Italy, Economic Research Department)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrizio Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2001. "Firm Size Distribution and Growth," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 394, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_394_01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    firm size; growth; R&D.;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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