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Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory

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  • Ufuk Akcigit
  • Sina T. Ates

Abstract

In this paper, we review the literature on declining business dynamism and its implications in the United States and propose a unifying theory to analyze the symptoms and the potential causes of this decline. We first highlight 10 pronounced stylized facts related to declining business dynamism documented in the literature and discuss some of the existing attempts to explain them. We then describe a theoretical framework of endogenous markups, innovation, and competition that can potentially speak to all of these facts jointly. We next explore some theoretical predictions of this framework, which are shaped by two interacting forces: a "composition effect" that determines the market concentration and an "incentive effect" that determines how firms respond to a given concentration in the economy. The results highlight that a decline in "knowledge diffusion" between frontier and laggard firms could be a significant driver of empirical trends observed in the data. This study emphasizes the potential of growth theory for the analysis of factors behind declining business dynamism and the need for further investigation in this direction.

Suggested Citation

  • Ufuk Akcigit & Sina T. Ates, 2019. "Ten Facts on Declining Business Dynamism and Lessons from Endogenous Growth Theory," NBER Working Papers 25755, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:25755
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    Cited by:

    1. Akcigit, Ufuk & Ates, Sina T., 2019. "What Happened to U.S. Business Dynamism?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Matias Covarrubias & Germán Gutiérrez & Thomas Philippon, 2019. "From Good to Bad Concentration? U.S. Industries over the Past 30 Years," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2019, volume 34, pages 1-46, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Tingyong Zhong & Yimeng Zuo & Fangcheng Sun & Jeoung Yul Lee, 2020. "Customer Concentration, Economic Policy Uncertainty and Enterprise Sustainable Innovation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(4), pages 1-20, February.
    4. repec:cpr:ceprdp:14249 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • K20 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - General
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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