IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wop/chispw/496.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

What Determines Firm Size?

Author

Listed:
  • KRISHNA B. KUMAR
  • RAGHURAM G. RAJAN
  • LUIGI ZINGALES

Abstract

Motivated by theories of the firm, which we classify as "technological" or "organizational," we analyze the determinants of firm size across industries and across countries in a sample of 15 European countries. We find that, on average, firms facing larger markets are larger. At the industry level, we find firms in the utility sector are large, perhaps because they enjoy a natural, or officially sanctioned, monopoly. Capital intensive industries, high wage industries, and industries that do a lot of R&D have larger firms, as do industries that require little external financing. At the country level, the most salient findings are that countries with efficient judicial systems have larger firms, and, correcting for institutional development, there is little evidence that richer countries have larger firms. Interestingly, institutional development, such as greater judicial efficiency, seems to be correlated with lower dispersion in firm size within an industry. The effects of interactions (between an industry's characteristics and a country's environment) on size are perhaps the most novel results in the paper, and are best able to discriminate between theories. As the judicial system improves, the difference in size between firms in capital intensive industries and firms in industries that use little physical capital diminishes, a finding consistent with "Critical Resource" theories of the firm. Finally, the average size of firms in industries dependent on external finance is larger in countries with better financial markets, suggesting that financial constraints limit average firm size.
(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

Suggested Citation

  • Krishna B. Kumar & Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "What Determines Firm Size?," CRSP working papers 496, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:496
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://gsbwww.uchicago.edu/fac/finance/papers/size.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1990. "Property Rights and the Nature of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(6), pages 1119-1158, December.
    2. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    3. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-340.
    4. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    5. Gary S. Becker & Kevin M. Murphy, 1994. "The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education, Third Edition, pages 299-322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    7. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    8. La Porta, Rafael, et al, 1997. "Trust in Large Organizations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 333-338, May.
    9. La Porta, Rafael & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1997. "Legal Determinants of External Finance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1131-1150, July.
    10. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1998. "Law and Finance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(6), pages 1113-1155, December.
    11. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & Luigi Zingales, "undated". "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," CRSP working papers 330, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    12. Timothy F. Bresnahan & Peter C. Reiss, 1990. "Entry in Monopoly Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(4), pages 531-553.
    13. George Baker & Robert Gibbons & Kevin J. Murphy, 1997. "Implicit Contracts and the Theory of the Firm," NBER Working Papers 6177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Pakes, Ariel & Ericson, Richard, 1998. "Empirical Implications of Alternative Models of Firm Dynamics," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 1-45, March.
    15. Cohen, Wesley M & Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Firm Size and the Nature of Innovation within Industries: The Case of Process and Product R&D," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 232-243, May.
    16. Banz, Rolf W., 1981. "The relationship between return and market value of common stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 3-18, March.
    17. Klepper, Steven, 1996. "Entry, Exit, Growth, and Innovation over the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(3), pages 562-583, June.
    18. Davis, Steven J & Henrekson, Magnus, 1999. "Explaining National Differences in the Size and Industry Distribution of Employment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 59-83, February.
    19. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power in a Theory of the Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432.
    20. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
    21. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1991. "The Theory of Capital Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(1), pages 297-355, March.
    22. Alchian, Armen A & Demsetz, Harold, 1972. "Production , Information Costs, and Economic Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(5), pages 777-795, December.
    23. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2005. "Market Size Matters," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 1-25, March.
    24. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    25. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver D, 1986. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 691-719, August.
    26. Gollin, Douglas, 2008. "Nobody's business but my own: Self-employment and small enterprise in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 219-233, March.
    27. Ringleb, Al H & Wiggins, Steven N, 1990. "Liability and Large-Scale, Long-term Hazards," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 574-595, June.
    28. Marco Pagano & Fabio Panetta & and Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Why Do Companies Go Public? An Empirical Analysis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 27-64, February.
    29. Boyan Jovanovic, 1993. "The Diversification of Production," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 24(1 Microec), pages 197-247.
    30. Audretsch, David B, 1991. "New-Firm Survival and the Technological Regime," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 441-450, August.
    31. Mata, Jose, 1996. "Markets, entrepreneurs and the size of new firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 89-94, July.
    32. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    33. Ginarte, Juan C. & Park, Walter G., 1997. "Determinants of patent rights: A cross-national study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(3), pages 283-301, October.
    34. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1995. "What Do We Know about Capital Structure? Some Evidence from International Data," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1421-1460, December.
    35. repec:hrv:faseco:30726298 is not listed on IDEAS
    36. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-264, April.
    37. Fama, Eugene F & Jensen, Michael C, 1983. "Separation of Ownership and Control," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 301-325, June.
    38. repec:hrv:faseco:30728041 is not listed on IDEAS
    39. Klein, Benjamin & Crawford, Robert G & Alchian, Armen A, 1978. "Vertical Integration, Appropriable Rents, and the Competitive Contracting Process," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(2), pages 297-326, October.
    40. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
    41. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-1150, September.
    42. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
    43. Andrea Shepard, 1987. "Licensing to Enhance Demand for New Technologies," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(3), pages 360-368, Autumn.
    44. Nazrul Islam, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-1170.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Dang, Chongyu & (Frank) Li, Zhichuan & Yang, Chen, 2018. "Measuring firm size in empirical corporate finance," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 159-176.
    2. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "The Governance of the New Enterprise," CRSP working papers 487, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
    3. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2001. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origins and Growth of Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(3), pages 805-851.
    4. Eduard Marinov, 2016. "The 2016 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 97-149.
    5. Luigi Zingales, 2000. "In Search of New Foundations," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1623-1653, August.
    6. Aleksandra Jovanovic, 2001. "Legal rules, governance structures and financial systems," ICER Working Papers 19-2001, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research.
    7. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
    8. Luigi Zingales, 1997. "Corporate Governance," NBER Working Papers 6309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Committee, Nobel Prize, 2016. "Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström: Contract Theory," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 2016-1, Nobel Prize Committee.
    10. Eitan Goldman & Gary Gorton, 2000. "The Visible Hand, the Invisible Hand and Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 7587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Martin Strieborny & Madina Kukenova, 2016. "Investment in Relationship-Specific Assets: Does Finance Matter?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1487-1515.
    12. Bernard Baudry & Virgile Chassagnon, 2012. "The vertical network organization as a specific governance structure: what are the challenges for incomplete contracts theories and what are the theoretical implications for the boundaries of the (hub," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 16(2), pages 285-303, May.
    13. Martin Strieborny & Madina Kukenova, 2016. "Investment in Relationship-Specific Assets: Does Finance Matter?," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 20(4), pages 1487-1515.
    14. Holmstrom, Bengt R. & Tirole, Jean, 1989. "The theory of the firm," Handbook of Industrial Organization, in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 61-133, Elsevier.
    15. Cecile Cezanne-Sintes, 2008. "Modern corporate changes: reinstating the link between the nature, boundaries and governance of the firm," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 447-461.
    16. Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1997. "A Survey of Corporate Governance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(2), pages 737-783, June.
    17. Klein, Peter G. & Mahoney, Joseph T. & McGahan, Anita M. & Pitelis, Christos N., 2012. "Who Is in Charge? A Property Rights Perspective on Stakeholder Governance," Working Papers 12-0102, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    18. Maija Halonen‐Akatwijuka, 2010. "Organizational Design, Technology and the Boundaries of the Firm," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 77(307), pages 544-564, July.
    19. Alexander Radygin & Revold Entov & Marina Turuntseva & Alena Gontmakher & Harry Swain & Jeff Carruthers & Karen Minden & Cheryl Urban, 2002. "The problems of corporate governance in Russia and its regions," Published Papers 12, Gaidar Institute for Economic Policy, revised 2002.
    20. Maloney, Michael T., 2017. "Alchian remembrances," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 561-582.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • G30 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - General
    • K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wop:chispw:496. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cruchus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Thomas Krichel (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/cruchus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.