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Testing Gibrat's Legacy: A Bayesian Approach to Study the Growth of Firms

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  • E. Cefis
  • M. Ciccarelli
  • L. Orsenigo

Abstract

Gibrat's law is a referent model of corporate growth dynamics. This paper employs Bayesian panel data methods to test for Gibrat's law and its implications. Using a Pharmaceutical Industry Database (1987-1998), we find evidence against Gibrat's law on average, within or across industries. Estimated steady states differ across firms, and firm sizes and growth rates don't converge within the same industry to a common limiting distribution. There is only weak evidence of mean reversion: initial larger firms do not grow relatively slower than smaller firms. Differences in growth rates and in size steady state are persistent and firm-specific, rather than size-specific.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Cefis & M. Ciccarelli & L. Orsenigo, 2005. "Testing Gibrat's Legacy: A Bayesian Approach to Study the Growth of Firms," Working Papers 05-02, Utrecht School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:0502
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    Cited by:

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    2. Bergner, Sören Martin & Bräutigam, Rainer & Evers, Maria Theresia & Spengel, Christoph, 2017. "The use of SME tax incentives in the European Union," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-006, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    3. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Francesco Quatraro, 2015. "Eco-innovation and Firm Growth: Do Green Gazelles Run Faster? Microeconometric Evidence from a Sample of European Firms. WWWforEurope Working Paper No. 88," WIFO Studies, WIFO, number 57897, January.
    4. Rachel Bocquet & Christian Le Bas & Caroline Mothe & Nicolas Poussing, 2017. "CSR, Innovation, and Firm Performance in Sluggish Growth Contexts: A Firm-Level Empirical Analysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 146(1), pages 241-254, November.
    5. Riccardo Leoncini & Alberto Marzucchi & Sandro Montresor & Francesco Rentocchini & Ugo Rizzo, 2016. "‘Better late than never’: a longitudinal quantile regression approach to the interplay between green technology and age for firm growth," SEEDS Working Papers 0616, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised May 2016.
    6. Marco Capasso & Elena Cefis & Alessandro Sapio, 2013. "Reconciling quantile autoregressions of firm size and variance–size scaling," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 609-632, October.
    7. Colombelli, Alessandra & Haned, Naciba & Le Bas, Christian, 2013. "On firm growth and innovation: Some new empirical perspectives using French CIS (1992–2004)," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 14-26.

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    Keywords

    Gibrat's Law; Firm Growth; Pharmaceutical Industry; Heterogeneity; Bayesian Estimation;
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