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Firm Growth: A Survey


  • Alexander Coad


We survey the phenomenon of the growth of firms drawing on literature from economics, management, and sociology. We begin with a review of empirical 'stylised facts’ before discussing theoretical contributions. Firm growth is characterized by a predominant stochastic element, making it difficult to predict. Indeed, previous empirical research into the determinants of firm growth has had a limited success. We also observe that theoretical propositions concerning the growth of firms are often amiss. We conclude that progress in this area requires solid empirical work, perhaps making use of novel statistical techniques.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexander Coad, 2007. "Firm Growth: A Survey," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-03, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2007-03

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Schmalensee, Richard, 1978. "A Model of Advertising and Product Quality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 485-503, June.
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    11. Reinoud Joosten, 2004. "Strategic Interaction and Externalities: FD-games and pollution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2004-17, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    12. Gustav Feichtinger & Richard F. Hartl & Suresh P. Sethi, 1994. "Dynamic Optimal Control Models in Advertising: Recent Developments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 195-226, February.
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    14. Brenner, Thomas & Witt, Ulrich, 2003. "Melioration learning in games with constant and frequency-dependent pay-offs," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 429-448, April.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Deschryvere, Matthias, 2008. "High Growth Firms and Job Creation in Finland," Discussion Papers 1144, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    2. Alexander Coad & Rekha Rao, 2007. "The Employment Effects of Innovations in High-Tech Industries," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-05, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    3. repec:wsi:rpbfmp:v:17:y:2014:i:03:n:s0219091514500143 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2011. "Corporate growth and industrial dynamics: evidence from French manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 103-116.
    5. Andreas Panagopoulos & Christos N. Pitelis, 2010. "Open innovation and the management of intra-firm conflict," International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 7(3/4), pages 295-307.
    6. Alex Coad, 2008. "Distance to Frontier and Appropriate Business Strategy," LEM Papers Series 2008/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    7. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson, 2010. "Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 227-244, September.
    8. Pradhan, Jaya Prakash, 2009. "Firm Performance during Global Economic Slowdown: A View from India," MPRA Paper 17145, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Greene, Francis, 2012. "Should the focus of publicly provided small business assistance be on start-ups or growth businesses?," Occasional Papers 12/2, Ministry of Economic Development, New Zealand.
    10. Koski, Heli, 2011. "Does Marginal Cost Pricing of Public Sector Information Spur Firm Growth?," Discussion Papers 1260, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    11. Colombelli, Alessandra & Haned, Naciba & Le Bas, Christian, 2013. "On firm growth and innovation: Some new empirical perspectives using French CIS (1992–2004)," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 14-26.
    12. Lunardi, José T. & Miccichè, Salvatore & Lillo, Fabrizio & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Gallegati, Mauro, 2014. "Do firms share the same functional form of their growth rate distribution? A statistical test," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 140-164.
    13. Alexander Coad, 2007. "Disentangling the firm growth process: evidence from a recursive panel VAR," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2007-15, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    14. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:12:y:2008:i:9:p:1-15 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. A. Arrighetti & A. Ninni, 2009. "Firm size and growth opportunities: a survey," Economics Department Working Papers 2009-EP05, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).

    More about this item


    Firm Growth; Size Distribution; Growth Rates Distribution; Gibrat’s Law; Theory of the Firm; Diversification; 'Stages of Growth’ models Length 73 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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