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Do Small Firms compete with Large Firms?

Author

Listed:
  • D.B. Audretsch

    () (Georgia State University, CEPR)

  • Y.M. Prince

    (EIM Small Business Research and Consultancy)

  • A.R. Thurik

    () (Erasmus University and EIM Small Business Research and Consultancy)

Abstract

Despite the pervasive phenomenon of scale economies the majority of firms hasalways been small firms. The emergence of small firms as a means of economic development on both sides of the Atlantic has been one of the major new topics of economic policy since the 1980s. This has drawn renewed attention to the question of how small firms are able to exist. The theories of strategic niches and dynamic complementarity imply that small firms seek out markets where they are able to avoid competition with their larger counterparts. Inthis paper we test the validity of these theories by examining the extent to which small-firm profitability is set by large-firm profitability. We find considerable evidence that the price-cost margins of small firms do not tend to follow those of large firms. This is interpreted as supporting the theories that small firms pursue a strategy of producing in distinct productniches.

Suggested Citation

  • D.B. Audretsch & Y.M. Prince & A.R. Thurik, 1998. "Do Small Firms compete with Large Firms?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 98-013/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:19980013
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ian Domowitz & R. Glenn Hubbard & Bruce C. Petersen, 1986. "Business Cycles and the Relationship Between Concentration and Price-Cost Margins," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 1-17, Spring.
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    7. Pugel, Thomas A, 1980. "Foreign Trade and US Market Performance," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 119-129, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Akbar Ullah & Ejaz Ghani & Attiya Y. Javed, 2013. "Market Power and Industrial Performance in Pakistan," PIDE-Working Papers 2013:88, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    2. repec:eee:worbus:v:54:y:2019:i:2:p:119-136 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Michel Quéré & Lionel Nesta, 2006. "Productivity and Market Selection of French Manufacturing Firms in the Nineties," Revue de l'OFCE, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 97(5), pages 319-349.
    4. Rawwas, Mohammed Y.A. & Iyer, Karthik N.S., 2013. "How do small firms possibly survive? A comparison study of marketing skills and logistics infrastructure of small and large wholesalers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 687-698.
    5. Federico Ciliberto & Ina C. Jäkel, 2017. "Superstar Exporters: An Empirical Investigation of Strategic Interactions in Danish Export Market," Economics Working Papers 2017-09, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    6. Sanidas, E., 2000. "On the Organisation of SMEs and Economic Growth in the USA and Japan," Economics Working Papers wp00-05, School of Economics, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia.
    7. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Lang, Åsa & Macuchova, Zuzana & Rudholm, Niklas, 2011. "Firm Growth in the Retail and Wholesale Trade Sectors – Evidence from Sweden," HUI Working Papers 50, HUI Research.
    8. Flora Bellone & Patrick Musso & Lionel Nesta & Michel Quere, 2010. "Market Selection Along the Firm Life Cycle," Chapters,in: Innovation, Economic Growth and the Firm, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    9. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7186 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Werner Hölzl, 2002. "Exit, Entry and industry turbulence in Austrian Manufacturing, 1981-1994," Working Papers geewp21, Vienna University of Economics and Business Research Group: Growth and Employment in Europe: Sustainability and Competitiveness.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • L6 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing

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