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Volatility and Asymmetry of Small Firm Growth Rates Over Increasing Time Frames


  • Robert Axtell
  • Rich Perline
  • Daniel Teitelbaum


In this report we have summarized our research into the nature of firm growth in the U.S. over the 5 year period 1998-2003 using comprehensive data on U.S. businesses extracted from the Census database. We have analyzed these data with a particular eye to the departures from standard assumptions and results in economics generally, and within the field of industrial organization specifically. It should be noted that our analysis is unusual in an important way compared to most analyses of firm growth rates: the typical size of establishments in the Census database is preponderantly very small - the observed modal size is a single employee. More commonly, growth rate studies use size thresholds thatare well above this, and as a result, the conclusions drawn from such truncated data may be incomplete or distorted.

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  • Robert Axtell & Rich Perline & Daniel Teitelbaum, 2006. "Volatility and Asymmetry of Small Firm Growth Rates Over Increasing Time Frames," The Office of Advocacy Small Business Working Papers 06rarpdt, U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy.
  • Handle: RePEc:sba:wpaper:06rarpdt

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