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Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Größe und Wachstum bei Gründungen - Empirische Ergebnisse für West-Deutschland


  • Nerlinger, Eric A.
  • Almus, Matthias


The present paper deals with the question whether 'Gibrat's law' is applicable to firms founded between 1989 and 1996 within the Western German manufacturing sector or not. The underlying assumption is that size of a firm has no in uence on its growth. Growth is rather determined by a process of random in uences. Within the context of the econometric analyses conducted in the present study, firms are subdivided into innovative and non-innovative young firms. A method introduced in Chesher (1979) is used to explore 'Gibrat's law' in order to examine the influence of firm size on growth. Moreover we test whether the growth process of firms remains stable over time or not. This so-called 'persistence of growth'-hypothesis implies that growth in one period has an impact on growth in the following period. Using data from the ZEW-Foundation Panel (West), 'Gibrat's law' is rejected for the group of innovative as well as for the group of non-innovative young firms in all periods examined. This confirms the results of a number of empirical studies over the last years, indicating that smaller firms have larger growth potential than larger ones.

Suggested Citation

  • Nerlinger, Eric A. & Almus, Matthias, 1999. "Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Größe und Wachstum bei Gründungen - Empirische Ergebnisse für West-Deutschland," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-01, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:5217

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Storey, D. J. & Tether, B. S., 1998. "New technology-based firms in the European union: an introduction," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 933-946, April.
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    3. Chesher, Andrew, 1979. "Testing the Law of Proportionate Effect," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 403-411, June.
    4. Davis, Steven J & Haltiwanger, John & Schuh, Scott, 1996. "Small Business and Job Creation: Dissecting the Myth and Reassessing the Facts," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 297-315, August.
    5. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-1143, Nov.-Dec..
    6. David Audretsch, 1994. "Business Survival and the Decision to Exit," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(1), pages 125-137.
    7. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
    8. Licht, Georg & Nerlinger, Eric, 1998. "New technology-based firms in Germany: a survey of the recent evidence," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(9), pages 1005-1022, April.
    9. Hall, Bronwyn H, 1987. "The Relationship between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 583-606, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefan Lachenmaier & Horst Rottmann, 2006. "Employment Effects of Innovation at the Firm Level," ifo Working Paper Series 27, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.

    More about this item


    Young Innovative Firms; New Technology-based Firms (NTBFs); Employment Growth; Gibrat's Law;

    JEL classification:

    • L60 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - General
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms


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