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Firms as bundles of discrete resources - towards an explanation of the exponential distribution of firm growth rates

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Abstract

A robust feature of the corporate growth process is the Laplace, or symmetric exponential, distribution of firm growth rates. In this paper, we sketch out a class of simple theoretical models capable of explaining this empirical regularity. We do not attempt to generalize on where growth opportunities comme from, but rather we focus on how firms build upon growth opportunites. We borrow ideas from the self-organizing criticality literature to explain how the interdependent nature of discrete resources may lead to the triggering off of a series of additions to a firm's resources. In a first formal model we consider the case of employment growth in a hierarchy, and observe that growth rates follow an exponential distribution. In a second model we include plant and capital as resources and we are able to reproduce a number of stylized facts about firm growth.

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  • Alex Coad, 2008. "Firms as bundles of discrete resources - towards an explanation of the exponential distribution of firm growth rates," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne r08055, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  • Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:r08055
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moulin, H. & Peleg, B., 1982. "Cores of effectivity functions and implementation theory," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 115-145, June.
    2. Peleg, Bezalel, 2004. "Representation of effectivity functions by acceptable game forms: a complete characterization," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 275-287, May.
    3. Rosenthal, Robert W., 1972. "Cooperative games in effectiveness form," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 88-101, August.
    4. Abdou, J, 1995. "Nash and Strongly Consistent Two-Player Game Forms," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 24(4), pages 345-356.
    5. Abdou, J., 2000. "Exact stability and its applications to strong solvability," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 263-275, May.
    6. Eyal Winter & Bezalel Peleg, 2002. "original papers : Constitutional implementation," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 7(2), pages 187-204.
    7. Abdou, Joseph & Keiding, Hans, 2003. "On necessary and sufficient conditions for solvability of game forms," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 243-260, December.
    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13220 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Alex Coad & Sven-Olov Daunfeldt & Daniel Halvarsson, 2018. "Bursting into life: firm growth and growth persistence by age," Small Business Economics, Springer, pages 55-75.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm growth rates; exponential distribution; hierarchy; growth autocorrelation.;

    JEL classification:

    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General

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