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Do Small Businesses Create More Jobs? New Evidence for Europe

  • Jan de Kok
  • Gerrit de Wit

In this paper we argue why, in our view, the so-called dynamic classification method should be favored when determining the contribution of small businesses towards job creation. First, it is the only method that consistently attributes job creation or loss to the size class in which it actually occurs. In addition, dynamic classification has two other advantages: (i) it is not vulnerable to the so-called regression to the mean bias and (ii) only a small number of aggregated data are required for its application. Using the dynamic classification we analyze job creation within the different size classes for the 27 Member States of the European Union. Our main findings are as follows: For the EU as a whole, smaller firms contribute on a larger scale towards job creation than larger firms do. Net job creation rates decrease with each firm size class. This pattern occurs in most industries however, not in all: the manufacturing industry and trade industry show different patterns. At the level of individual countries, the net job creation rate also tends todecrease with each firm size class. However, this relation is not perfect.

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Paper provided by EIM Business and Policy Research in its series Scales Research Reports with number H201203.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 09 Apr 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h201203
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  1. Davidsson, Per & Lindmark, Leif & Olofsson, Christer, 1998. " The Extent of Overestimation of Small Firm Job Creation--An Empirical Examination of the Regression Bias," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 11(1), pages 87-100, August.
  2. Audretsch, D.B. & Klomp, L. & Thurik, A.R., 2002. "Gibrat's Law: are the services different?," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-04-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  3. Carree, Martin & Klomp, Luuk, 1996. " Small Business and Job Creation: A Comment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 317-22, August.
  4. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. " Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-315, August.
  5. Picot, Garnett & Dupuy, Richard, 1998. " Job Creation by Company Size Class: The Magnitude, Concentration and Persistence of Job Gains and Losses in Canada," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 117-39, March.
  6. Jan de Kok & Gerrit de Wit & Kashifa Suddle, 2006. "SMEs as job engine of the Dutch private economy," Scales Research Reports H200601, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  7. Broersma, Lourens & Gautier, Pieter, 1997. " Job Creation and Job Destruction by Small Firms: An Empirical Investigation for the Dutch Manufacturing Sector," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 211-24, June.
  8. Fotini Voulgaris & Theodore Papadogonas & George Agiomirgianakis, 2005. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in Greek Manufacturing," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 289-301, 05.
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