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Size Distribution of Portuguese Firms between 2006 and 2012

Listed author(s):
  • Mário Augusto

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Rui Pascoal

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, Portugal)

  • Ana Margarida Monteiro

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra and GEMF, Portugal)

This study aims to describe the size distribution of Portuguese firms, as measured by annual sales and total assets, between 2006 and 2012, giving an economic interpretation for the evolution of the distribution along the time. Three distributions are fitted to data: the lognormal, the Pareto (and as a particular case Zipf) and the Simplified Canonical Law (SCL). We present the main arguments found in literature to justify the use of distributions, emphasizing the interpretation of SCL coefficients and its analogy with thermodynamics. Methods of estimation include Maximum Likelihood, modified Ordinary Least Squares in log-log scale and Nonlinear Least Squares considering the Levenberg-Marquardt algorithm. We apply these approaches to Portuguese firm data. In the sales case, the evolution of estimated parameters in both lognormal and SCL reflects the existence of a recession period more pronounced after 2008.

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File URL: http://www.uc.pt/feuc/gemf/working_papers/pdf/2015/gemf_2015-04
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Paper provided by GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra in its series GEMF Working Papers with number 2015-04.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2015
Handle: RePEc:gmf:wpaper:2015-04.
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  1. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-245, September.
  2. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
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  4. Zhang, Jianhua & Chen, Qinghua & Wang, Yougui, 2009. "Zipf distribution in top Chinese firms and an economic explanation," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 388(10), pages 2020-2024.
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  7. Xavier Gabaix & Rustam Ibragimov, 2011. "Rank - 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39, January.
  8. 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.
  9. Okuyama, K & Takayasu, M & Takayasu, H, 1999. "Zipf's law in income distribution of companies," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 269(1), pages 125-131.
  10. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf's Law for Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767.
  11. 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.
  12. Natália Barbosa & Vasco Eiriz, 2011. "Regional Variation of Firm Size and Growth: The Portuguese Case," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 125-158, 06.
  13. Gao, Baojun & Chan, Wai Kin (Victor) & Li, Hongyi, 2015. "On the increasing inequality in size distribution of China's listed companies," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 25-41.
  14. Hernández-Pérez, R. & Angulo-Brown, F. & Tun, Dionisio, 2006. "Company size distribution for developing countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 359(C), pages 607-618.
  15. Jan Eeckhout, 2009. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1676-1683, September.
  16. Gaffeo, Edoardo & Gallegati, Mauro & Palestrini, Antonio, 2003. "On the size distribution of firms: additional evidence from the G7 countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 117-123.
  17. Gabaix, Xavier & Ibragimov, Rustam, 2011. "Rank − 1 / 2: A Simple Way to Improve the OLS Estimation of Tail Exponents," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 24-39.
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