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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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  1. Pavitt, Keith, 1984. "Sectoral patterns of technical change: Towards a taxonomy and a theory," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 343-373, December.
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  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1993. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing theFacts," NBER Working Papers 4492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. 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.
  18. Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J & Samuelson, Larry, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-98, November.
  19. George Symeonidis, 1996. "Innovation, Firm Size and Market Structure: Schumpeterian Hypotheses and Some New Themes," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 161, OECD Publishing.
  20. 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.
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