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The evolution of the firm size distribution and nationality of ownership


  • BARRIOS, Salvador
  • GOERG, Holger
  • STROBL, Eric


It has recently been shown that the firm size distribution is initially skewed to the right and then evolves over time to become more lognormal, and argued that this is likely due to firms initially facing financial constraints, see Cabral and Mata (2003). We conjecture that, it this is true, then such a pattern should be much less apparent for multinational companies for which financial constraints arer generally considered to be lower than non-multinationals. Moreover, such a difference may be re-enforced by the fact that multinationals are less likely to face selection issues. These propositions are confirmed usingplant level Irishman ufacturing data.

Suggested Citation

  • BARRIOS, Salvador & GOERG, Holger & STROBL, Eric, 2004. "The evolution of the firm size distribution and nationality of ownership," CORE Discussion Papers 2004022, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2004022

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
    2. John Sutton, 1996. "Gibrats Legacy," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 14, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    3. Robert E. Baldwin & Robert E. Lipsey & J. David Richards, 1998. "Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bald98-1, January.
    4. Luís M B Cabral & José Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
    5. Harrison, Ann E. & McMillan, Margaret S., 2003. "Does direct foreign investment affect domestic credit constraints?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 73-100, October.
    6. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    7. Harrison, Ann E. & Love, Inessa & McMillan, Margaret S., 2004. "Global capital flows and financing constraints," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 269-301, October.
    8. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters,in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
    10. Sourafel Girma & David Greenaway & Katharine Wakelin, 2013. "Who Benefits from Foreign Direct Investment in the UK?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 560-574, November.
    11. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antal-Pomázi, Krisztina, 2011. "A finanszírozási források szerepe a kis- és középvállalkozások növekedésében
      [The role of sources of finance in the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises]
      ," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(3), pages 275-295.
    2. Luís Cabral, 2007. "Small firms in Portugal: a selective survey of stylized facts, economic analysis, and policy implications," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 6(1), pages 65-88, April.

    More about this item


    firm size distribution; national of ownership; financial constraints;

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General


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