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Firm Size and Growth Rate Variance: the Effects of Data Truncation

  • M. Capasso
  • E. Cefis

This paper discusses the effects of the existence of natural and/or exogenously imposed thresholds in firm size distributions, on estimations of the relation between firm size and variance in firm growth rates. We explain why the results in the literature on this relationship are not consistent. We argue that a natural threshold (0 number of employees or 0 total sales) and/or the existence of truncating thresholds in the dataset, can lead to upwardly biased estimations of the relation. We show the potential impact of the bias on simulated data, suggest a methodology to improve these estimations, and present an empirical analysis based on a comprehensive dataset of Dutch manufacturing and service firms. The only stable relation between firm size and growth rate variance is negative regardless of how we define the measure of firm growth.

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File URL: http://dspace.library.uu.nl/bitstream/handle/1874/309380/10_23.pdf
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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 10-23.

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Date of creation: Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1023
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  1. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2011. "Corporate Growth and Industrial Dynamics: Evidence from French Manufacturing," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00642688, HAL.
  2. Nunes Amaral, Luís A & Buldyrev, Sergey V & Havlin, Shlomo & Maass, Philipp & Salinger, Michael A & Eugene Stanley, H & Stanley, Michael H.R, 1997. "Scaling behavior in economics: The problem of quantifying company growth," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 244(1), pages 1-24.
  3. Alex Coad & Werner Hölzl, 2009. "On the Autocorrelation of Growth Rates," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 139-166, June.
  4. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2003. "Common Properties and Sectoral Specificities in the Dynamics of U.S. Manufacturing Companies," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 217-232, December.
  5. Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, November.
  6. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Explaining the Distribution of Firms Growth Rates," LEM Papers Series 2005/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  7. Alex Coad, 2006. "A Closer Look at Serial Growth Rate Correlation," LEM Papers Series 2006/29, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  8. Stephen Hymer & Peter Pashigian, 1962. "Firm Size and Rate of Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 556.
  9. Giulio Bottazzi & Alex Coad & Nadia Jacoby & Angelo Secchi, 2011. "Corporate growth and industrial dynamics: evidence from French manufacturing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 103-116.
  10. M. Ruth & K. Donaghy & P. Kirshen, 2006. "Introduction," Chapters, in: Regional Climate Change and Variability, chapter 1 Edward Elgar.
  11. Giulio Bottazzi & Elena Cefis & Giovanni Dosi, 2001. "Corporate Growth and Industrial Structure. Some Evidence from the Italian Manufacturing Industry," LEM Papers Series 2001/08, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  12. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
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