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Firm Growth, Institutions and Structural Transformation

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  • Henrekson, Magnus

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Johansson, Dan

    (Ratio)

Abstract

This essay argues that the economic contribution of certain firms – be they small, young or rapidly growing – has to be understood in a broader context of creative destruction. Growth of some firms requires contraction and exit of some other firms to free up resources that can be reallocated to expanding firms. Entry and expansion are flip sides to exit and contraction and the process through which the factors of production are put into different use defines structural transformation. We analyze institutions and policies conducive to structural transformation, in particular the expansion of high-growth firms (HGFs), since they have empirically been shown to contribute disproportionately to economic development. Firm growth is viewed as resulting from the continuous discovery and use of productive knowledge. Rapid firm growth requires a set of economic actors with complementary competencies that work together to identify and commercialize novel business ideas. The institutional framework determines the incentives for these individuals to acquire and utilize knowledge. We identify a number of institutions that encourage the creation of HGFs and promote structural transformation. In particular, our analysis points to the key roles played by tax structures, labor market regulation, and the contestability of service markets. Even in advanced economies, there is a large untapped economic potential which can be unleashed by institutional changes, such as the opening up of closed markets for entrepreneurial competition. However, there is no “quick-fix” that will boost the frequency of HGFs and structural transformation. Our analysis suggests that policymakers need to adopt a broad approach and implement a wide array of complementary institutional reforms to increase the prevalence of HGFs and to facilitate structural transformation.

Suggested Citation

  • Henrekson, Magnus & Johansson, Dan, 2010. "Firm Growth, Institutions and Structural Transformation," Working Paper Series 820, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0820
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    2. Dana Benešová & Viera Kubičková & Anna Michálková & Monika Krošláková, 2018. "Innovation activities of gazelles in business services as a factor of sustainable growth in the Slovak Republic," Post-Print hal-01773577, HAL.
    3. Fritsch, Michael, 2013. "New Business Formation and Regional Development: A Survey and Assessment of the Evidence," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 9(3), pages 249-364, February.
    4. Jesús Cuaresma & Harald Oberhofer & Gallina Vincelette, 2014. "Institutional barriers and job creation in Central and Eastern Europe," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 3(1), pages 1-29, December.
    5. Luiza Antoun de Almeida & Vybhavi Balasundharam, 2018. "On the Impact of Structural Reforms on Output and Employment: Evidence from a Cross-country Firm-level Analysis," IMF Working Papers 2018/073, International Monetary Fund.
    6. Coad, Alex & Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Johansson, Dan & Wennberg, Karl, 2011. "Who do High-growth Firms Employ, and Who do they Hire?," Ratio Working Papers 169, The Ratio Institute.
    7. Jun Du & Yama Temouri, 2015. "High-growth firms and productivity: evidence from the United Kingdom," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 123-143, January.
    8. Ms. Annette J Kyobe & Giang Ho & Ms. Era Dabla-Norris, 2016. "Structural Reforms and Productivity Growth in Emerging Market and Developing Economies," IMF Working Papers 2016/015, International Monetary Fund.
    9. Rohit Malhorta, 2016. "Demystifying Optimal Welfare Weights Controversy From A Social Strategist Perspective," Journal of Social and Economic Statistics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, vol. 5(2), pages 33-48, DECEMBER.
    10. Dana Benešová & Viera Kubičková & Anna Michálková & Monika Krošláková, 2018. "Innovation activities of gazelles in business services as a factor of sustainable growth in the Slovak Republic," Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Issues, VsI Entrepreneurship and Sustainability Center, vol. 5(3), pages 452-466, March.
    11. Alex Coad & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Dan Johansson & Karl Wennberg, 2014. "Whom do high-growth firms hire?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 23(1), pages 293-327, February.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Firm growth; Gazelles; High-growth firms; High-impact firms; Institutions; Job creation; Rapidly growing firms;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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