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Job flows in Italian SMEs: a longitudinal analysis of growth, size and age

  • Marco Corsino
  • Roberto Gabriele
  • Sandro Trento

The paper proposes an empirical investigation of job flows for continuing manufacturing firms in Italy from 1996 to 2004 using high quality data on work forces and other characteristics of the firm. The magnitude of the job flows for small and medium-sized limited liability companies in Italy is lower than what observed in Anglo-Saxon countries, but it is still in line with evidence for firms in the Euro area. Second, the magnitude of job flows significantly shrunk in the aftermath of the economic downturn in 2001. Firms fared worse than in the late nineties and the labour market became less efficient in allocating job flows. Third, gross job creation and gross job destruction decrease as firm get larger, but when added to compute an indicator of net employment growth, size does not seem to affect firms' expansion. On the contrary, age significantly hinges on the growth opportunities of small and medium-sized enterprises. The econometric analysis corroborates the major findings of our descriptive investigation referring to the role of size and age. In particular, it shows that classification methods used to define size classes strongly influence the estimated relationship between growth and size industrial regimes play a role in shaping job flows. Our result show that firms in supplier dominated industries fared significantly lower than enterprises in other sectors during the sample period.

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Paper provided by Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy in its series DISA Working Papers with number 1008.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision: 22 Dec 2010
Handle: RePEc:trt:disawp:1008
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  1. Catherine Armington & Zoltan Acs, 2004. "Job creation and persistence in services and manufacturing," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 309-325, 07.
  2. John C. Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," NBER Working Papers 16300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Becchetti, Leonardo & Trovato, Giovanni, 2002. " The Determinants of Growth for Small and Medium Sized Firms: The Role of the Availability of External Finance," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(4), pages 291-306, December.
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  8. Evans, David S., 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Growth, Size, and Age: Estimates for 100 Manufacturing Industries," Working Papers 86-33, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Hirschberg, J. & Lye, J., 1999. "The Interpretation of Multiple Dummy Variable Coefficients: An Application to Industry Effects in Wage Equations," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 716, The University of Melbourne.
  10. Paolo Angelini & Andrea Generale, 2008. "On the Evolution of Firm Size Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 426-38, March.
  11. Matthew Barnes & Jonathan Haskel, 2002. "Job Creation, Job Destruction and the Contribution of Small Businesses: Evidence for UK Manufacturing," Working Papers 461, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  12. Alex Hijzen, & Richard Upward, & Peter Wright, . "Job Creation, Job Destruction and the Role of Small Firms: Firm-Level Evidence for the UK," Discussion Papers 07/01, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  13. G. Bottazzi & E. Cefis & G. Dosi & A. Secchi, 2007. "Invariances and Diversities in the Patterns of Industrial Evolution: Some Evidence from Italian Manufacturing Industries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 137-159, June.
  14. David Neumark & Brandon Wall & Junfu Zhang, 2008. "Do Small Businesses Create More Jobs? New Evidence from the National Establishment Time Series," NBER Working Papers 13818, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Dunne, Paul & Hughes, Alan, 1994. "Age, Size, Growth and Survival: UK Companies in the 1980s," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 115-40, June.
  16. Contini, Bruno & Revelli, Riccardo, 1997. "Gross flows vs. net flows in the labor market: What is there to be learned?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 245-263, September.
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