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Firm Performance And Evolution Empirical Regularities In The U.S. Microdata

  • Robert H Mcguckin
  • Bradford J Jensen

This paper presents a view of firm performance, industry evolution, and economic growth that contrasts with the traditional representative firm model. The paper reviews recent empirical work, primarily studies using the Longitudinal Research Database (LRD), that explicitly focuses on individual business units. The major empirical regularity in the studies is that heterogeneity is pervasive -- it is found across and within all sectors and across all plant characteristics. Further, firms are not only different in the cross-section. They enter at different times, make different choices, and react differently to economic shocks. Thus, to understand economic performance and competition, one must move beyond representative firm models. Competition must be understood as a process in which some firms choose correctly and grow while other firms choose poorly and die; the growth of the successful firms at the expense of less successful rivals drives economic growth.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/1996/CES-WP-96-10.pdf
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 96-10.

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Date of creation: Oct 1996
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Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:96-10
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  1. Robert Mcguckin & Mary Streitwieser & Mark Doms, 1998. "The Effect Of Technology Use On Productivity Growth," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(1), pages 1-26.
  2. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Roberts, Mark J., 1995. "The role of technology use in the survival and growth of manufacturing plants," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 523-542, December.
  3. Ricardo J. Caballero, 1997. "Aggregate Investment," NBER Working Papers 6264, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Pakes, A. & Ericson, R., 1990. "Empirical Implications Of Alternative Models Of Firm Dynamics," Papers 594, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  5. Laura Power, 1995. "The Missing Link: Technology, Productivity, and Investment," Working Papers 95-12, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  6. Mark E. Doms & Timothy Dunne, 1998. "Capital Adjustment Patterns in Manufacturing Plants," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 1(2), pages 409-429, April.
  7. McGuckin, Robert H, 1995. "Establishment Microdata for Economic Research and Policy Analysis: Looking beyond the Aggregates," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(1), pages 121-26, January.
  8. Kenneth R Troske, 1995. "The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," Working Papers 95-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Olley, G Steven & Pakes, Ariel, 1996. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(6), pages 1263-97, November.
  10. John Haltiwanger & Martin N Baily & Eric J Bartelsman, 1994. "Downsizing and Productivity Growth: Myth or Reality?," Working Papers 94-4, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Douglas W Dwyer, 1995. "Whittling Away At Productivity Dispersion," Working Papers 95-5, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1989. "Variation In Producer Turnover Across U.S. Manufacturing Industries," Papers 12-89-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  14. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1989. "The Growth and Failure of U. S. Manufacturing Plants," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-698.
  15. Bernard, A.B. & Jensen, J.B., 1994. "Exporters, Skill Upgrading, and the Wage Gap," Working papers 94-30, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  16. Oulton,Nicholas & O'Mahony,Mary, 1994. "Productivity and Growth," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521453455, Junio.
  17. Robert H Mcguckin & Suzanne Peck, 1992. "Manufacturing Establishments Reclassified Into New Industries: The Effect Of Survey Design Rules," Working Papers 92-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  18. Timothy Dunne & James A Schmitz Jr., 1992. "Wages, Employer Size-Wage Premia and Employment Structure: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at U.S. Manufacturing Establishments," Working Papers 92-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & John Baldwin, 1994. "A Comparison of Job Creation and Job Destruction in Canada and the United States," Working Papers 94-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
  21. Evans, David S., 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 86-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  22. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  23. Cohen, Wesley M. & Levin, Richard C., 1989. "Empirical studies of innovation and market structure," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 18, pages 1059-1107 Elsevier.
  24. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  25. Michael Gort & Rao Singamsetti, 1976. "Concentration and Profit Rates: New Evidence on an Old Issue," NBER Chapters, in: Explorations in Economic Research, Volume 3, number 1, pages 1-20 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Alfred R Nucci & Timothy Bates, 1990. "An Analysis of Small Business Size and Rate of Discontinuance," Working Papers 90-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  27. Ron Jarmin, 1995. "Using Matched Client And Census Data To Evaluate The Performance Of The Manufacturing Extension Partnership," Working Papers 95-7, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  28. Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
  29. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
  30. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
  31. Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
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