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Does Gibrat’s Law Hold in the Case of Young, Small Firms?

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  • F. Lotti
  • E. Santarelli
  • M. Vivarelli

Abstract

According to Gibrat’s Law of Proportionate Effect, the growth rate of a given firm is independent of its size at the beginning of the examined period. This paper investigates whether Gibrat’s Law holds for new entrants in a given industry: that is for new small firms in the early stage of their life cycle. The main finding is that in some (but not in all) selected industries in Italian manufacturing Gibrat’s Law fails to hold in the years immediately following start-up, when smaller firms have to rush in order to achieve a size large enough to enhance their likelihood of survival. Conversely, in subsequent years the patterns of growth of smaller firms do not differ significantly from those of larger ones, and the Law is therefore confirmed.

Suggested Citation

  • F. Lotti & E. Santarelli & M. Vivarelli, 1999. "Does Gibrat’s Law Hold in the Case of Young, Small Firms?," Working Papers 361, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  • Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:361
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Petrunia, 2008. "Does Gibrat’s Law Hold? Evidence from Canadian Retail and Manufacturing Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 201-214, February.
    2. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Industry Dynamics and the Distribution of Firm Sizes: A Nonparametric Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 443-466, January.
    3. D'Elia, Enrico & Nascia, Leopoldo & Zeli, Alessandro, 2011. "Analisi dei modelli d’impresa: discontinuità e sviluppo
      [Analysing firm's evolution: discontinuity and growth]
      ," MPRA Paper 35926, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Emin M. Dinlersoz & Mehmet Yorukoglu, 2012. "Information and Industry Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 884-913, April.
    5. Roberto Basile & Sergio De Nardis, 2004. "Non linearità e dinamica della dimensione d'impresa in Italia," Rivista italiana degli economisti, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 423-454.
    6. Pei-Chou Lin & Deng-Shing Huang, 2008. "Technological Regimes and Firm Survival: Evidence Across Sectors and Over Time," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 175-186, February.
    7. Sergio de Nardis & Massimo Mancini & Carmine Pappalardo, 2003. "Regolazione del mercato del lavoro e crescita dimensionale delle imprese: Una verifica sull'effetto soglia dei 15 dipendenti," ISAE Working Papers 38, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).

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