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A Unified Theory of Firm Selection and Growth

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  • Costas Arkolakis

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of marketing choice to firm growth. I assume that firm-level growth is the result of idiosyncratic productivity improvements with continuous arrival of new potential producers. A firm enters a market if it is profitable to incur the marginal cost to reach the first consumer and pays an increasing marketing cost to reach additional consumers. The model is calibrated using data on the cross-section of firms and their sales across markets as well as the rate of incumbent firm-exit. The calibrated model quantitatively predicts firm exit, growth, and the resulting firm size distribution in the US manufacturing data. It also predicts a distribution of firm growth rates that deviates from Gibrat's law -i.e. independence of firm size and growth- in a manner consistent with the data.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Arkolakis, 2011. "A Unified Theory of Firm Selection and Growth," NBER Working Papers 17553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17553
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    1. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2007. "Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21, pages 107-180, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Arellano, Cristina & Bai, Yan & Zhang, Jing, 2012. "Firm dynamics and financial development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 533-549.
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    6. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
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    25. repec:stn:sotoec:1003 is not listed on IDEAS
    26. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure

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