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The Size Variance Relationship of Business Firm Growth Rates

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  • Massimo Riccaboni
  • Fabio Pammolli
  • Sergey V. Buldyrev
  • Linda Ponta
  • H. Eugene Stanley

Abstract

The relationship between the size and the variance of firm growth rates is known to follow an approximate power-law behavior σ(S) similar to S^-β(S) where S is the firm size and β(S) almost equal to 0.2 is an exponent weakly dependent on S. Here we show how a model of proportional growth which treats firms as classes composed of various number of units of variable size, can explain this size-variance dependence. In general, the model predicts that β(S) must exhibit a crossover from β(0) = 0 to β(∞) = 1/2. For a realistic set of parameters, β(S) is approximately constant and can vary in the range from 0.14 to 0.2 depending on the average number of units in the firm. We test the model with a unique industry specific database in which firm sales are given in terms of the sum of the sales of all their products. We find that the model is consistent with the empirically observed size-variance relationship.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo Riccaboni & Fabio Pammolli & Sergey V. Buldyrev & Linda Ponta & H. Eugene Stanley, 2009. "The Size Variance Relationship of Business Firm Growth Rates," DISA Working Papers 0901, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 11 Jun 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:trt:disawp:0901
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    Cited by:

    1. Massimo Riccaboni & Stefano Schiavo, 2009. "The Structure and Growth of International Trade," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-24, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Misako Takayasu & Hayafumi Watanabe & Hideki Takayasu, 2013. "Generalised central limit theorems for growth rate distribution of complex systems," Papers 1301.2728, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2014.
    3. Massimo Riccaboni & Stefano Schiavo, 2009. "The Structure and Growth of Weighted Networks," Papers 0908.0348, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2009.
    4. Anindya S. Chakrabarti, 2013. "Bimodality in the firm size distributions: a kinetic exchange model approach," Papers 1302.3818, arXiv.org, revised May 2013.
    5. Xie, Wen-Jie & Gu, Gao-Feng & Zhou, Wei-Xing, 2010. "On the growth of primary industry and population of China’s counties," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(18), pages 3876-3882.
    6. Stanley, H.E. & Buldyrev, S.V. & Franzese, G. & Havlin, S. & Mallamace, F. & Kumar, P. & Plerou, V. & Preis, T., 2010. "Correlated randomness and switching phenomena," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(15), pages 2880-2893.

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