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The Firm Size Distribution across Countries and Skill-Biased Change in Entrepreneurial Technology

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  • POSCHKE, Markus

Abstract

How and why does the firm size distribution differ across countries? This paper documents that features of the firm size distribution are strongly associated with income per capita. Richer countries have fewer entrepreneurs and fewer small firms. The average, dispersion and skewness of firm size are all larger in richer countries. A simple general equilibrium model of occupational choice with skill-biased change in entrepreneurial technology calibrated to U.S. data can account very well for these patterns. The crucial assumption is that some entrepreneurs benefit more from technological progress than others. Marginal entrepreneurs then switch to becoming employees as technology advances.

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  • POSCHKE, Markus, 2011. "The Firm Size Distribution across Countries and Skill-Biased Change in Entrepreneurial Technology," Cahiers de recherche 08-2011, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:08-2011
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    2. Alessandra Bonfiglioli & Rosario Crinò & Gino Gancia, 2018. "Betting on Exports: Trade and Endogenous Heterogeneity," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(609), pages 612-651, March.
    3. Poschke, Markus, 2013. "Who becomes an entrepreneur? Labor market prospects and occupational choice," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 693-710.
    4. Pedro Bento & Diego Restuccia, 2017. "Misallocation, Establishment Size, and Productivity," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 267-303, July.
    5. OIKAWA Koki & UEDA Kozo, 2018. "Reallocation Effects of Monetary Policy," Discussion papers 18056, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
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    8. Pedro Gomes & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "Human capital and the size distribution of firms," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 164-179, October.
    9. Poschke, Markus, 2013. "The Decision to Become an Entrepreneur and the Firm Size Distribution: A Unifying Framework for Policy Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7757, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 13-25.
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    13. Grjebine, Thomas & Szczerbowicz, Urszula & Tripier, Fabien, 2018. "Corporate debt structure and economic recoveries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 77-100.
    14. Manuel García-Santana & Roberto Ramos, 2015. "Distortions and the size distribution of plants: evidence from cross-country data," SERIEs: Journal of the Spanish Economic Association, Springer;Spanish Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 279-312, August.
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    17. Nadine Riedel & Martin Simmler, 2018. "Large and Influential: Firm Size and Governments' Corporate Tax Rate Choice," CESifo Working Paper Series 6904, CESifo Group Munich.
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    19. Pedro Gomes & Zoe Kuehn, 2017. "Human capital and the size distribution of firms," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 164-179, October.
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    22. Epstein, Brendan & Finkelstein Shapiro, Alan, 2017. "Employment and firm heterogeneity, capital allocation, and countercyclical labor market policies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 25-41.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Occupational choice; entrepreneurship; firm size; skill-biased technical change;

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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