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Growth Processes of Italian Manufacturing Firms

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  • Alex Coad
  • Rekha Rao
  • Federico Tamagni

Abstract

This paper presents a multidimensional empirical analysis of firm growth. Exploiting census data on Italian manufacturing firms, 1989-1997, we estimate a reduced-form VAR to analyze the co-evolution of employment growth, sales growth, growth of profits and labour productivity growth. Our main findings suggest that (i) employment growth precedes sales growth; (ii) productivity growth lacks any strong association with subsequent growth of the other indicators; (iii) profits growth represents the `absorbing dimension' of the growth processes. This picture contrasts with 'accelerator models', predicting sales are the driver of the growth process, and is also at odds with theories of firm-industry evolution assuming productivity or profits advantages to be the driver of strong market selection/reallocation mechanisms. Instead, the findings reveal the existence of (weak) Penrose and (strong) Kaldor-Verdoorn effects, and more generally convey the view that employment growth is the key driver of firm expansion, while profits, once made, are not reinvested.

Suggested Citation

  • Alex Coad & Rekha Rao & Federico Tamagni, 2008. "Growth Processes of Italian Manufacturing Firms," LEM Papers Series 2008/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2008/20
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    Cited by:

    1. Daniele Moschella & Federico Tamagni & Xiaodan Yu, 2019. "Persistent high-growth firms in China’s manufacturing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 573-594, March.
    2. Giulio Bottazzi & Giovanni Dosi & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2010. "Corporate performances and market selection: some comparative evidence," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(6), pages 1953-1996, December.
    3. Giovanni Dosi & Emanuele Pugliese & Pietro Santoleri, 2017. "Growth and survival of the `fitter'? Evidence from US new-born firms," LEM Papers Series 2017/06, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    4. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2013. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 173-189.
    5. Alaa Adden A. Abuhommous, 2017. "Net Working Capital and Firm Growth," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 7(4), pages 131-137.
    6. Álvarez, Roberto & Vergara, Sebastián, 2013. "Trade exposure, survival and growth of small and medium-size firms," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 185-201.
    7. Arranz Sombría, M. Rosa & Miralles-Quirós, José Luis & Daza-Izquierdo, Julio, 2017. "Interrelación entre el crecimiento y la rentabilidad de la banca comercial en España/Interrelation between Growth and Profitability in Spanish Commercial Banks," Estudios de Economia Aplicada, Estudios de Economia Aplicada, vol. 35, pages 611-628, Agosto.
    8. Cahill, Sean & Rich, Tabitha & Cozzarin, Brian, 2015. "Innovation in the Canadian Food Processing Industry: Evidence from the Workplace and Employee Survey," International Food and Agribusiness Management Review, International Food and Agribusiness Management Association, vol. 18(2), pages 1-22, May.
    9. Kahsay Gerezihar Tsaedu & Zhihong Chen, 2021. "The Dynamics of Firm Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa: Evidence from Ethiopian Manufacturing Sector 1996–2017," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 21(3), pages 367-392, September.
    10. Nuri YILDIRIM, 2011. "No Appealing Future For High Growth – Low Profitability Firms: Evidence from Turkey’s Top 1000," Iktisat Isletme ve Finans, Bilgesel Yayincilik, vol. 26(307), pages 31-45.
    11. Lee, Sanghoon, 2014. "The relationship between growth and profit: evidence from firm-level panel data," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 1-11.
    12. González-Fernández, Marcos & González-Velasco, Carmen, 2018. "Innovation and corporate performance in the Spanish regions," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 998-1021.
    13. Juan Federico & Joan-Lluis Capelleras, 2015. "The heterogeneous dynamics between growth and profits: the case of young firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 231-253, February.
    14. Guglielmo Forges Davanzati & Rosario Patalano & Guido Traficante, 2019. "The Italian economic stagnation in a Kaldorian theoretical perspective," Economia Politica: Journal of Analytical and Institutional Economics, Springer;Fondazione Edison, vol. 36(3), pages 841-861, October.
    15. Guglielmo Forges Davanzati & Rosario Patalano & Guido Traficante, 2016. "The Italian economic decline in a Kaldorian theoretical perspective," Working Papers PKWP1606, Post Keynesian Economics Society (PKES).
    16. Alex Coad & Marc Cowling & Josh Siepel, 2017. "Growth processes of high-growth firms as a four-dimensional chicken and egg," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 537-554.
    17. Millemaci, Emanuele & Ofria, Ferdinando, 2016. "Supply and demand-side determinants of productivity growth in Italian regions," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 138-146.
    18. Seungkyu Yoo & Jaejun Kim, 2015. "The Dynamic Relationship between Growth and Profitability under Long-Term Recession: The Case of Korean Construction Companies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 7(12), pages 1-17, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Household Consumption Expenditure; Budget Shares; Sum of Log-Normal Distributions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

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