IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/zbw/ifwedp/201012.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Investigating the exponential age distribution of firms

Author

Listed:
  • Coad, Alex

Abstract

While several plots of the aggregate age distribution suggest that firm age is exponentially distributed, we find some departures from the exponential benchmark. At the lower tail, we find that very young establishments are more numerous than expected, but they face high exit hazards. At the upper tail, the oldest firms are older than the exponential would have predicted. Furthermore, the age distribution of international airline companies displays multimodality. Although we focused on departures from the exponential, we found that the exponential was a useful reference point and endorse it as an appropriate benchmark for future work on industrial structure.

Suggested Citation

  • Coad, Alex, 2010. "Investigating the exponential age distribution of firms," Economics Discussion Papers 2010-12, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwedp:201012
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2010-12
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/30151/1/620462280.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-245, September.
    2. de Wit, Gerrit, 2005. "Firm size distributions: An overview of steady-state distributions resulting from firm dynamics models," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 423-450, June.
    3. Paolo Angelini & Andrea Generale, 2008. "On the Evolution of Firm Size Distributions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 426-438, March.
    4. Guido Buenstorf & Steven Klepper, 2009. "Heritage and Agglomeration: The Akron Tyre Cluster Revisited," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 705-733, April.
    5. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.
    6. Alex Coad, 2010. "The Exponential Age Distribution and the Pareto Firm Size Distribution," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 389-395, September.
    7. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro & Guimaraes, Paulo, 1995. "The survival of new plants: Start-up conditions and post-entry evolution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 459-481, December.
    8. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
    9. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2008. "Productivity, profitability and financial performance," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(4), pages 711-751, August.
    10. Alexander Coad & Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, 2008. "The Growth and Decline of Small firms In Developing Countries," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2008-08, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    11. Helena Persson, 2004. "The Survival and Growth of New Establishments in Sweden, 1987-1995," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(5), pages 423-440, October.
    12. Growiec, Jakub & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2008. "On the size distribution of business firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 207-212, February.
    13. Huergo, Elena & Jaumandreu, Jordi, 2004. "Firms' age, process innovation and productivity growth," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 22(4), pages 541-559, April.
    14. Luís M B Cabral & José Mata, 2003. "On the Evolution of the Firm Size Distribution: Facts and Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1075-1090, September.
    15. Knorr, Andreas & Arndt, Andreas, 2004. "Alliance strategy and the fall of Swissair: a comment," Journal of Air Transport Management, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 119-123.
    16. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi, 2005. "Growth and Diversification Patterns of the Worldwide Pharmaceutical Industry," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 26(2), pages 195-216, December.
    17. Giorgio Fagiolo & Alessandra Luzzi, 2006. "Do liquidity constraints matter in explaining firm size and growth? Some evidence from the Italian manufacturing industry," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 1-39, February.
    18. Levinthal, D.A. & Fichman, M., 1991. "Honeymoons and the Liability of Adolescence : A New Perspective on Duration Dependence in Social Organizational Relationships," GSIA Working Papers 1991-34, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    19. Cook, William & Ormerod, Paul, 2003. "Power law distribution of the frequency of demises of US firms," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 324(1), pages 207-212.
    20. Elena Huergo & Jordi Jaumandreu, 2004. "How Does Probability of Innovation Change with Firm Age?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3_4), pages 193-207, April.
    21. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2006. "The Role of Family in Family Firms," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(2), pages 73-96, Spring.
    22. Winker, Peter, 1996. "Causes and effects of financing constraints at the firm level: Some microeconometric evidence," Discussion Papers, Series II 292, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
    23. Orietta Marsili, 2005. "Technology and the Size Distribution of Firms: Evidence from Dutch Manufacturing," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 27(4), pages 303-328, December.
    24. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Short-termism: what's the problem?
      by chris in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2018-09-06 12:51:11

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lina Cortés & Juan M. Lozada & Javier Perote, 2019. "Firm size and concentration inequality: A flexible extension of Gibrat’s law," Documentos de Trabajo CIEF 017205, Universidad EAFIT.
    2. Schimke, Antje & Teichert, Nina & Ott, Ingrid, 2012. "Impact of local knowledge endowment on employment growth in nanotechnology," Working Paper Series in Economics 38, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Department of Economics and Management.
    3. Klaus Adam & Henning Weber, 2019. "Optimal Trend Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(2), pages 702-737, February.
    4. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2010. "Measuring firms’ financial constraints: Evidence for Portugal through different approaches," GEMF Working Papers 2010-15, GEMF, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.
    5. Alex Coad & Christina Guenther, 2012. "Age, diversification and survival in the German machine tool industry, 1953-2002," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-23, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
    6. Cortés, Lina M. & Mora-Valencia, Andrés & Perote, Javier, 2017. "Measuring firm size distribution with semi-nonparametric densities," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 485(C), pages 35-47.
    7. Marco Grazzi & Daniele Moschella, 2018. "Small, young, and exporters: New evidence on the determinants of firm growth," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 125-152, January.
    8. Heinrich, Torsten & Dai, Shuanping, 2016. "Diversity of firm sizes, complexity, and industry structure in the Chinese economy," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 90-106.
    9. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2013. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 173-189.
    10. Flavio Calvino & Daniele Giachini & Mattia Guerini, 2020. "The age distribution of business firms," LEM Papers Series 2020/20, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    11. Caterina Santi & Pietro Santoleri, 2017. "Exploring the link between innovation and growth in Chilean firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(2), pages 445-467, August.
    12. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Davide Castellani & Fabio Pieri, 2014. "Age and firm growth: evidence from three European countries," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 823-837, December.
    13. Carlos Carreira & Filipe Silva, 2012. "Where Are The Fragilities? The Relationship Between Firms' Financial Constraints, Size, And Age," Book Chapters, in: João Sousa Andrade & Marta C. N. Simões & Ivan Stosic & Dejan Eric & Hasan Hanic (ed.), Managing Structural Changes - Trends and Requirements, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 184-198, Institute of Economic Sciences.
    14. Alex Coad & Jaganaddha Tamvada, 2012. "Firm growth and barriers to growth among small firms in India," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(2), pages 383-400, September.
    15. Atushi Ishikawa & Shouji Fujimoto & Takayuki Mizuno, 2019. "Statistical law observed in inactive rate of firms," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 201-212, June.
    16. Luca Fontanelli & Mattia Guerini & Mauro Napoletano, 2021. "International Trade and Technological Competition in Markets with Dynamic Increasing Returns," LEM Papers Series 2021/27, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    17. Flavio Calvino & Daniele Giachini & Mattia Guerini, 2020. "The age distribution of business firms," Working Papers halshs-03040286, HAL.
    18. Atushi Ishikawa & Shouji Fujimoto & Takayuki Mizuno & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2016. "Long-term firm growth properties derived from short-term laws of sales and number of employees in Japan and France," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 409-422, December.
    19. Alex Coad & Gregory Scott, 2018. "High-growth firms in Peru," Revista Cuadernos de Economía, Universidad Nacional de Colombia -FCE - CID, vol. 37(75), pages 671-696, May.
    20. Giovanni Dosi & Marcelo C. Pereira & Andrea Roventini & Maria Enrica Virgillito, 2021. "Technological paradigms, labour creation and destruction in a multi-sector agent-based model," LEM Papers Series 2021/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    21. Adam, Klaus & Weber, Henning, 2017. "Optimal Trend Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 12160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Filipe Silva & Carlos Carreira, 2016. "The Role of Financial Constraints in the Services Sector: How Different is it from Manufacturing?," Notas Económicas, Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, issue 43, pages 21-41, June.
    23. Flavio Calvino & Daniele Giachini & Mattia Guerini, 2020. "The Age Distribution of Business Firms," GREDEG Working Papers 2020-36, Groupe de REcherche en Droit, Economie, Gestion (GREDEG CNRS), Université Côte d'Azur, France.
    24. Atushi Ishikawa & Shouji Fujimoto & Takayuki Mizuno & Tsutomu Watanabe, 2017. "Dependence of the decay rate of firm activities on firm age," Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review, Springer, vol. 14(2), pages 351-362, December.

    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. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2013. "Like milk or wine: Does firm performance improve with age?," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 173-189.
    2. Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2012. "An appraisal of firm size distribution: Does sample size matter?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 314-328.
    3. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2014. "Financial constraints and firm dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 99-116, January.
    4. Giulio Bottazzi & Angelo Secchi & Federico Tamagni, 2014. "Financial constraints and firm dynamics," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 99-116, January.
    5. Murat ATAN & Emre BOZDAĞ, 2011. "Avrupa Karbonatlı İçecekler Piyasasında Firma Büyüklüğü Ve Büyüklük Genişleme Oranı İlişkisi," Ekonomik Yaklasim, Ekonomik Yaklasim Association, vol. 22(80), pages 19-38.
    6. Jakub Growiec & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni, 2020. "Innovation and Corporate Dynamics: A Theoretical Framework," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, vol. 12(1), pages 1-45, March.
    7. Ugur, Mehmet & Trushin, Eshref & Solomon, Edna, 2016. "Inverted-U relationship between R&D intensity and survival: Evidence on scale and complementarity effects in UK data," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1474-1492.
    8. Daniel Fackler & Claus Schnabel & Joachim Wagner, 2013. "Establishment exits in Germany: the role of size and age," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 683-700, October.
    9. Coad, Alex & Segarra, Agustí & Teruel, Mercedes, 2016. "Innovation and firm growth: Does firm age play a role?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 387-400.
    10. Carlos Carreira & Paulino Teixeira, 2011. "The shadow of death: analysing the pre-exit productivity of Portuguese manufacturing firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 36(3), pages 337-351, April.
    11. Colombelli, Alessandra & Krafft, Jackie & Vivarelli, Marco, 2016. "New Firms and Post-Entry Performance: The Role of Innovation," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 201602, University of Turin.
    12. Christian Cordes & Tong-Yaa Su & Pontus Strimling, 2019. "A critical human group size and firm size distributions in industries," Journal of Bioeconomics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 123-144, July.
    13. D.B. Audretsch & L. Klomp & E. Santarelli & A.R. Thurik, 2004. "Gibrat's Law: Are the Services Different?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 24(3), pages 301-324, May.
    14. Malevergne, Y. & Saichev, A. & Sornette, D., 2013. "Zipf's law and maximum sustainable growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(6), pages 1195-1212.
    15. Alessandra Colombelli & Jackie Krafft & Marco Vivarelli, 2016. "To be born is not enough: the key role of innovative start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 277-291, August.
    16. Masatoshi Kato & Yuji Honjo, 2015. "Entrepreneurial human capital and the survival of new firms in high- and low-tech sectors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 925-957, November.
    17. Alexandra Tsvetkova & Jean-Claude Thill & Deborah Strumsky, 2014. "Metropolitan innovation, firm size, and business survival in a high-tech industry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 661-676, October.
    18. Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Is entrepreneurship necessarily good? Microeconomic evidence from developed and developing countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(6), pages 1453-1495, December.
    19. A. Bonaccorsi & S. Giannangeli, 2010. "One or more growth processes? Evidence from new Italian firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 137-152, September.
    20. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Age distribution; exponential distribution; firm size distribution; survival;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:zbw:ifwedp:201012. 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/iwkiede.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: ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/iwkiede.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.