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Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young

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  • John Haltiwanger
  • Ron S. Jarmin
  • Javier Miranda

Abstract

There’s been a long, sometimes heated, debate on the role of firm size in employment growth. Despite skepticism in the academic community, the notion that growth is negatively related to firm size remains appealing to policymakers and small business advocates. The widespread and repeated claim from this community is that most new jobs are created by small businesses. Using data from the Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics and Longitudinal Business Database, we explore the many issues regarding the role of firm size and growth that have been at the core of this ongoing debate (such as the role of regression to the mean). We find that the relationship between firm size and employment growth is sensitive to these issues. However, our main finding is that once we control for firm age there is no systematic relationship between firm size and growth. Our findings highlight the important role of business startups and young businesses in U.S. job creation. Business startups contribute substantially to both gross and net job creation. In addition, we find an “up or out” dynamic of young firms. These findings imply that it is critical to control for and understand the role of firm age in explaining U.S. job creation.

Suggested Citation

  • John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:10-17
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2010/CES-WP-10-17.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Ronald S. Jarmin & Shawn D. Klimek & Javier Miranda, 2009. "The Role of Retail Chains: National, Regional and Industry Results," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 237-262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Randy A. Becker & John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Shawn D. Klimek & Daniel J. Wilson, 2006. "Micro and Macro Data Integration: The Case of Capital," NBER Chapters, in: A New Architecture for the U.S. National Accounts, pages 541-610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, February.
    5. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ronald S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Kristin Sandusky, 2009. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 329-366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mark Doms & Ron Jarmin & Shawn Klimek, 2004. "Information technology investment and firm performance in US retail trade," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 595-613.
    7. Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & C. J. Krizan, 2006. "Market Selection, Reallocation, and Restructuring in the U.S. Retail Trade Sector in the 1990s," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 748-758, November.
    8. David Neumark & Brandon Wall & Junfu Zhang, 2011. "Do Small Businesses Create More Jobs? New Evidence for the United States from the National Establishment Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 16-29, August.
    9. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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