Start-ups, firm growth and the consolidation of the French biotech industry
Based on an original dataset, we analyze empirically the determinants of firm growth in the French biotech industry during two periods, 1996-1999 and 1999-2002. We have two main results. First, Gibrat's law is violated. The growth of annual turnover is influenced by teh initial size of the firm. The effect is non-linear, negative for small firms. Second, location has a significant impact on growth. We use different sets of dummies to characterize location and different measures of firm growth. As a whole, our results point at Marseilles (and its region) and Nanterre (but not Paris and Evry) as favorable places for the growth of firms between 1999 and 2002. For the 1996-1999, the favorable places are Strasbourg (and Alsace) and Rh“ne-Alpes (Lyon/Grenoble). Our analysis thus suggests that the changes in the (notably legal) environment of French biotech firms that took place in 1999 had a drastic effect of the comparative advantages of locations for biotech firms.
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