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Technology and Firm Size Distribution:Evidence from Italian Manufacturing

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  • Crosato, Lisa

    () (Dipartimento di Statistica, UniversitÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ di Milano - Bicocca)

  • Destefanis, Sergio

    () (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy)

  • Ganugi, Piero

    () (Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali,UniversitÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ Cattolica del Sacro Cuore di Piacenza)

Abstract

This paper explores the relationship between firm size distribution and technology. Similarly to Crosato and Ganugi (2006), we focus on six industries from the Micro1 survey by the Italian Statistical National Office (ISTAT). Firm technology is analysed across selected industries by means of a non-parametric production analysis, the Free Disposal Hull approach (Deprins et al., 1984; Kerstens and Vanden Eeckaut, 1999). The existence of a link between technical efficiency and size on the one hand, and between scale elasticity and size on the other is investigated. Graphical analyses show the absence of a clear-cut relation in the first case, while an inverse relation is found in the second one. Building on this relation, we inquire whether the shape of the firm size-distribution is related to a particular pattern of returns to scale. This problem is studied through the Zipf Plot (Stanley et al., 1995) of the Pareto IV distribution, which is concave for firms up to a given threshold, and then becomes linear. Results show that firms in the concave part of the plot experience increasing returns to scale. On the contrary, firms in the linear part are mainly characterised by constant returns to scale.

Suggested Citation

  • Crosato, Lisa & Destefanis, Sergio & Ganugi, Piero, 2007. "Technology and Firm Size Distribution:Evidence from Italian Manufacturing," CELPE Discussion Papers 102, CELPE - Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy, University of Salerno, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sal:celpdp:0102
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kerstens, Kristiaan & Vanden Eeckaut, Philippe, 1999. "Estimating returns to scale using non-parametric deterministic technologies: A new method based on goodness-of-fit," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 113(1), pages 206-214, February.
    2. Dunne, Paul & Hughes, Alan, 1994. "Age, Size, Growth and Survival: UK Companies in the 1980s," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 115-140, June.
    3. Giulio Bottazzi & Marco Grazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Characterizing the Production Process: A Disaggregated Analysis of Italian Manufacturing Firms," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 95(1), pages 291-318, January-F.
    4. GIJBELS, Irène & MAMMEN, Enno & PARK, Byeong U. & SIMAR, Léopold, 1997. "On estimation of monotone and concave frontier functions," CORE Discussion Papers 1997031, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    5. L. Crosato & P. Ganugi, 2007. "Statistical regularity of firm size distribution: the Pareto IV and truncated Yule for Italian SCI manufacturing," Statistical Methods & Applications, Springer;Società Italiana di Statistica, vol. 16(1), pages 85-115, June.
    6. Peter Hart & Nicholas Oulton, 1997. "Zipf and the size distribution of firms," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(4), pages 205-206.
    7. Kneip, Alois & Park, Byeong U. & Simar, L opold, 1998. "A Note On The Convergence Of Nonparametric Dea Estimators For Production Efficiency Scores," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(06), pages 783-793, December.
    8. G. Bottazzi & E. Cefis & G. Dosi & A. Secchi, 2003. "Invariances and Diversities in the Evolution of Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 03-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
    9. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2003. "Does Gibrat's Law hold among young, small firms?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 213-235, August.
    10. Francesca Lotti & Marco Vivarelli & Enrico Santarelli, 2004. "Gibrat's Law and Market Selection," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-28, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    11. Stanley, Michael H. R. & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Havlin, Shlomo & Mantegna, Rosario N. & Salinger, Michael A. & Eugene Stanley, H., 1995. "Zipf plots and the size distribution of firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 453-457, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Italian manufacturing; Free Disposal Hull; Pareto distributions; Returns to scale;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • D20 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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