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The Determinants of Growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry: A Firm-Level Analysis

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  • Giorgio Canarella

    (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Abstract

Why do some firms grow faster than others? This question has become the focus of a large number of empirical studies in industrial organization, strategic management, and entrepreneurship since the publications of Gibrat (1931) and Penrose (1959). Using an unbalanced panel data set of 85 U.S. information and communication technology (ICT) firms that survived over the period from 1990 to 2013, we examine the effect of firm size, agency costs, R&D investments, capital structure, profitability, and the Great Recession of 2007-2009 on firm growth. Adopting the two-step, system, generalized-method-of-moments estimator for linear dynamic panel models (Blundell and Bond, 1998), we document that growth in the ICT industry is not stochastic, as predicted by Gibrat (1931), but driven by systematic factors. We find compelling evidence that in the ICT industry: (i) firm growth exhibits positive persistence, which endorses the controversial "success-breeds-success" evolutionary hypothesis; (ii) agency costs and financial leverage exert a negative effect on firm growth; (iii) R&D investment and financial performance generate a positive effect on firm growth; (iv) the Great Recession (2007-2009) produced a negative effect on firm growth; (v) a nonlinear, inverted U-shaped relationship exists between firm size and firm growth; and (vi) Gibrat’s law does not hold. Our findings remain robust to transformations using first differences and forward orthogonal deviations as well as principal components reductions. These results are new to the literature, since the dynamics of firm growth has not been documented at the ICT industry level. Noteworthy policy implications emerge because the growth dynamics of the ICT industry move this sector toward more concentration and less competition.

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  • Giorgio Canarella & Stephen M. Miller, 2017. "The Determinants of Growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry: A Firm-Level Analysis," Working papers 2017-12, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2017-12
    Note: Stephen Miller is the corresponding author
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    2. Fang, Mingyue & Nie, Huihua & Shen, Xinyi, 2023. "Can enterprise digitization improve ESG performance?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    3. Lina M Cortés & Juan M Lozada & Javier Perote, 2021. "Firm size and economic concentration: An analysis from a lognormal expansion," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(7), pages 1-21, July.
    4. Yi Xu & Jian Li & Yongcan Yan & Pengcheng Gao & Heng Xie, 2022. "Can Coordinated Development of Manufacturing and Information Communication Service Industries Boost Economic Resilience? An Empirical Study Based on China’s Provinces," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(17), pages 1-15, August.
    5. Christos Axioglou & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2019. "Which firms survive in a crisis? Corporate dynamics in Greece 2001-2014," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 133, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
    6. Jian Xu & Jae-Woo Sim, 2018. "Characteristics of Corporate R&D Investment in Emerging Markets: Evidence from Manufacturing Industry in China and South Korea," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(9), pages 1-18, August.
    7. Yao-Chin Lin & Chun-Liang Chen & Cheng-Fu Chao & Wei-Hung Chen & Henry Pandia, 2020. "The Study of Evaluation Index of Growth Evaluation of Science and Technological Innovation Micro-Enterprises," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(15), pages 1-25, August.
    8. Huňady, Ján & Pisar, Peter & Durcekova, Ina, 2019. "Business R&D Expenditure in the ICT Sector: Effects on Business Performance Indicators," Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA - ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference (2019), Rovinj, Croatia, in: Proceedings of the ENTRENOVA - ENTerprise REsearch InNOVAtion Conference, Rovinj, Croatia, 12-14 September 2019, pages 519-530, IRENET - Society for Advancing Innovation and Research in Economy, Zagreb.
    9. Surabhi Somya & Madhuri Saripalle, 2023. "The Determinants of Firm’s Growth in the Telecommunication Services Industry: Empirical Evidence from India," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 21(1), pages 193-211, March.
    10. Alexeeva-Alexeev, Inna & Mazas-Perez-Oleaga, Cristina, 2024. "Do ICT firms manage R&D differently? Firm-level and macroeconomic effects on corporate R&D investment: Empirical evidence from a multi-countries context," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    11. 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.
    12. Jose‐Maria Garcia‐Alvarez‐Coque & Ibtissem Taghouti & Victor Martinez‐Gomez, 2020. "Changes in Aflatoxin Standards: Implications for EU Border Controls of Nut Imports," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 42(3), pages 524-541, September.
    13. Christos Axioglou & Nicos Christodoulakis, 2021. "Which firms survive in a crisis? Investigating Gibrat’s Law in Greece 2001–2014," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 48(2), pages 159-217, June.
    14. Nakano, Satoshi & Washizu, Ayu, 2018. "Induced effects of smart food/agri-systems in Japan: Towards a structural analysis of information technology," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(10), pages 824-835.
    15. Ling Zhang, 2024. "Spatial agglomeration of information services industry and its evolution: Evidence from the Pearl River Delta, China," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    ICT industry; Agency costs; Firm growth; Panel data; system-GMM;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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