IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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

  • POSCHKE, Markus

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 08-2011.

in new window

Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:08-2011
Contact details of provider: Postal: C.P. 6128, Succ. centre-ville, Montréal (PQ) H3C 3J7
Phone: (514) 343-6557
Fax: (514) 343-7221
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2009. "Misallocation and Manufacturing TFP in China and India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1403-1448, November.
  2. Markus Poschke, 2006. "The regulation of entry and aggregate productivity," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/21, European University Institute.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman & Philipp Kircher, 2013. "Matching and Sorting in a Global Economy," ESE Discussion Papers 227, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  4. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  5. Lloyd-Ellis, Huw & Bernhardt, Dan, 2000. "Enterprise, Inequality and Economic Development," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(1), pages 147-68, January.
  6. Poschke, Markus, 2008. "Who Becomes an Entrepreneur? Labor Market Prospects and Occupational Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 3816, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
  8. Nick Bloom & Raffaella Sadun & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Americans Do I.T. Better: US Multinationals and the Productivity Miracle," CEP Discussion Papers dp0788, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Galina Vereshchagina & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2009. "Risk Taking by Entrepreneurs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1808-30, December.
  10. Murphy, Kevin M & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1991. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 503-30, May.
  11. Guy Michaels, 2007. "The division of labor, coordination, and the demand for information processing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3251, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  13. Cummins, Jason G & Violante, Giovanni L, 2002. "Investment-Specific Technical Change in the US (1947-2000): Measurement and Macroeconomic Consequences," CEPR Discussion Papers 3584, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Ahmet Akyol & Kartik Athreya, 2009. "Self-employment rates and business size: the roles of occupational choice and credit market frictions," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 495-519, June.
  15. Nugent, Jeffrey B & Yhee, Seung-Jae, 2002. " Small and Medium Enterprises in Korea: Achievements, Constraints and Policy Issues," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1-3), pages 85-119, Feb.- May.
  16. Marco Cagetti & Mariacristina De Nardi, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, frictions, and wealth," Working Paper Series WP-05-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Kevin J. Murphy & Ján Zábojník, 2004. "CEO Pay and Appointments: A Market-Based Explanation for Recent Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 192-196, May.
  18. Francisco J. Buera & Joseph P. Kaboski & Yongseok Shin, 2011. "Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1964-2002, August.
  19. Silvia Ardagna & Annamaria Lusardi, 2008. "Explaining International Differences in Entrepreneurship: The Role of Individual Characteristics and Regulatory Constraints," NBER Working Papers 14012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. John A. James & Jonathan S. Skinner, 1984. "The Resolution of the Labor Scarcity Paradox," NBER Working Papers 1504, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585, May.
  22. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  23. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  24. Matthias Kehrig, 2011. "The Cyclicality of Productivity Dispersion," 2011 Meeting Papers 484, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  25. Hernan J. Moscoso Boedo & Toshihiko Mukoyama, 2011. "Evaluating the Effects of Entry Regulations and Firing Costs on International Income Differences," Virginia Economics Online Papers 379, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  26. Giulia Faggio & Kjell Salvanes & John Van Reenen, 2007. "The Evolution of Inequality in Productivity and Wages: Panel Data Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Paul Reynolds & Niels Bosma & Erkko Autio & Steve Hunt & Natalie De Bono & Isabel Servais & Paloma Lopez-Garcia & Nancy Chin, 2005. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data Collection Design and Implementation 1998–2003," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 205-231, 02.
  28. Douglas Gollin, 2001. "Getting Income Shares Right," Department of Economics Working Papers 2001-11, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  29. Antunes, António & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Villamil, Anne, 2008. "The effect of financial repression and enforcement on entrepreneurship and economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 278-297, March.
  30. Moscarini, Giuseppe & Postel-Vinay, Fabien, 2009. "Large Employers Are More Cyclically Sensitive," IZA Discussion Papers 4014, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  31. Restuccia, Diego & Yang, Dennis Tao & Zhu, Xiaodong, 2008. "Agriculture and aggregate productivity: A quantitative cross-country analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 234-250, March.
  32. Levon Barseghyan, 2008. "Entry costs and cross-country differences in productivity and output," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 145-167, June.
  33. Marko Tervio, 2008. "The Difference That CEOs Make: An Assignment Model Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 642-68, June.
  34. Boyan Jovanovic & Peter L. Rousseau, 2008. "Specific Capital and Technological Variety," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(2), pages 129-152.
  35. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  36. James Tybout, 1998. "Manufacturing Firms In Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, And Why?," Development and Comp Systems 9805004, EconWPA.
  37. Ananth Seshadri & Nicolas Roys, 2012. "Economic Development and the Organization of Production," 2012 Meeting Papers 456, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  38. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  39. Per Krusell & Lee E. Ohanian & JosÈ-Victor RÌos-Rull & Giovanni L. Violante, 2000. "Capital-Skill Complementarity and Inequality: A Macroeconomic Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1029-1054, September.
  40. Jones, Charles I, 1995. "R&D-Based Models of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 759-84, August.
  41. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2008. "Trends in U.S. Wage Inequality: Revising the Revisionists," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 300-323, May.
  42. Thomas Astebro & Jing Chen & Peter Thompson, 2010. "Stars and Misfits: Self-Employment and Labor Market Frictions," Working Papers 1003, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  43. Huw Lloyd-Ellis, 1999. "Endogenous Technological Change and Wage Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 47-77, March.
  44. Steven N. Kaplan & Joshua Rauh, 2013. "It's the Market: The Broad-Based Rise in the Return to Top Talent," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 35-56, Summer.
  45. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Entrepreneurship in macroeconomics," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 295-311, June.
  46. Cain, Louis P. & Paterson, Donald G., 1986. "Biased Technical Change, Scale, and Factor Substitution in American Industry, 1850–1919," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 46(01), pages 153-164, March.
  47. Samaniego, Roberto M., 2006. "Industrial subsidies and technology adoption in general equilibrium," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(9-10), pages 1589-1614.
  48. Rauch, James E., 1991. "Modelling the informal sector formally," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 33-47, January.
  49. 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).
  50. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1995. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9510, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  51. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
  52. Rajan, Raghuram G. & Wulf, Julie, 2006. "Are perks purely managerial excess?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-33, January.
  53. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton & Fabio Kanczuk, 2008. "Plant-Size Distribution and Cross-Country Income Differences," NBER Working Papers 14060, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
  55. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram, 2006. "Entry regulation as a barrier to entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 591-629, December.
  56. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
  57. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
  58. Urata, Shujiro & Kawai, Hiroki, 2002. " Technological Progress by Small and Medium Enterprises in Japan," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1-3), pages 53-67, Feb.- May.
  59. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  60. Erik Hurst & Benjamin Wild Pugsley, 2011. "What do Small Businesses Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 73-142.
  61. Berry, Albert & Rodriguez, Edgard & Sandee, Henry, 2002. " Firm and Group Dynamics in the Small and Medium Enterprise Sector in Indonesia," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 18(1-3), pages 141-61, Feb.- May.
  62. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2006. "The Evolution of Top Incomes: A Historical and International Perspective," NBER Working Papers 11955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  63. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  64. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Canadian Macro Study Group

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:08-2011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sharon BREWER)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.