IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedmwp/633.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The size distribution of firms in an economy with fixed and entry costs

Author

Listed:
  • Erzo G. J. Luttmer

Abstract

This paper describes an analytically tractable model of balanced growth that allows for extensive heterogeneity in the technologies used by firms. Firms enter with fixed characteristics that determine their initial technologies and the levels of fixed costs required to stay in business. Each firm produces a different good, and firms are subject to productivity and demand shocks that are independent across firms and over time. Firms exit when revenues are too low relative to fixed costs. Conditional on fixed firm characteristics, the stationary distribution of firm size satisfies a power law for all sizes above the size at which new firms enter. The tail of the size distribution decays very slowly if the growth rate of the initial productivity of potential entrants is not too far above the growth rate of productivity inside incumbent firms. In one interpretation, this difference in growth rates can be related to learning-by-doing inside firms and spillovers of the information generated as a result. As documented in a companion paper, heterogeneity in fixed firm characteristics together with idiosyncratic firm productivity growth can generate entry, exit, and growth rates, conditional on age and size, in line with what is observed in the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Erzo G. J. Luttmer, 2004. "The size distribution of firms in an economy with fixed and entry costs," Working Papers 633, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:633
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/common/pub_detail.cfm?pb_autonum_id=940
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.minneapolisfed.org/research/wp/wp633.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eaton, Jonathan & Eckstein, Zvi, 1997. "Cities and growth: Theory and evidence from France and Japan," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(4-5), pages 443-474, August.
    2. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Urban Structure and Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(2), pages 597-624.
    4. Mark L.J. Wright & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2004. "Firm Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," 2004 Meeting Papers 878, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    6. Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1988. "Patterns of Firm Entry and Exit in U.S. Manufacturing Industries," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 495-515, Winter.
    7. Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Power laws and the origins of aggregate fluctuations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 484, Econometric Society.
    8. Ricardo Lagos, 2006. "A Model of TFP," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(4), pages 983-1007.
    9. Erzo G.J. Luttmer, 2004. "On the Age and Size Distribution of Business Firms," 2004 Meeting Papers 686, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-362, June.
    11. Peter J. Klenow, 2003. "Measuring consumption growth: the impact of new and better products," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 10-23.
    12. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    13. 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.
    14. Jeremy Greenwood & Boyan Jovanovic, 2001. "Accounting for Growth," NBER Chapters,in: New Developments in Productivity Analysis, pages 179-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    16. Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2002. "Measuring Organization Capital," NBER Working Papers 8722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Tor Jakob Klette & Samuel Kortum, 2004. "Innovating Firms and Aggregate Innovation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 986-1018, October.
    18. Robert J. Gordon, 2000. "The Boskin Commission Report and its Aftermath," NBER Working Papers 7759, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    20. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, January.
    21. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-1150, September.
    22. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
    23. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Baldwin, Richard E. & Robert-Nicoud, Frederic, 2008. "Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 21-34, January.
    2. Impullitti, Giammario & Irarrazabal, Alfonso A. & Opromolla, Luca David, 2013. "A theory of entry into and exit from export markets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(1), pages 75-90.
    3. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
    4. Xavier Gabaix, 2004. "Power laws and the origins of aggregate fluctuations," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 484, Econometric Society.
    5. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100.
    6. Acemoglu, Daron & Cao, Dan, 2015. "Innovation by entrants and incumbents," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 157(C), pages 255-294.
    7. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Product Switching," NBER Working Papers 12293, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Wright, Mark, 2004. "Firm Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4rs4202s, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    9. Qi Li & Patrick Paul Walsh, 2009. "The Firm Size Distribution in a Small Open Economy: Theory and Evidence," Working Papers 200920, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business cycles - Econometric models;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedmwp:633. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jannelle Ruswick). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbmnus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.