Sunk Costs and the Growth and Failure of Small Business
We model the growth and failure of small business in Irish Manufacturing during the period 1973-1994. We estimate the effect of start-up size on the employment growth while controlling for the business cycle, the life cycle and the probability of business survival, amongst other factors. Learning models of firm selection and evolution are accepted in Homogenous Goods but rejected in R&D sectors. Due to high (low) entry and failure costs in R&D (Homogenous Goods) sectors, learning is undertaken ex-ante (ex-post), inducing entry with certainty (uncertainty) concerning ex-post performance, causing Gibrat's law to hold (fail).
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