Small Business Economics

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 821–844 | Cite as

An international cohort comparison of size effects on job growth

  • Michael Anyadike-DanesEmail author
  • Carl-Magnus Bjuggren
  • Sandra Gottschalk
  • Werner Hölzl
  • Dan Johansson
  • Mika Maliranta
  • Anja Myrann


The contribution of different-sized businesses to job creation continues to attract policymakers’ attention; however, it has recently been recognised that conclusions about size were confounded with the effect of age. We probe the role of size, controlling for age, by comparing the cohorts of firms born in 1998 over their first decade of life, using variation across half a dozen northern European countries Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK to pin down size effects. We find that a very small proportion of the smallest firms play a crucial role in accounting for cross-country differences in job growth. A closer analysis reveals that the initial size distribution and survival rates do not seem to explain job growth differences between countries, rather it is a small number of rapidly growing firms that are driving this result.


Birth cohort Firm age Firm size Firm survival Firm growth Distributed micro-data analysis 

JEL Classifications

L25 L26 E24 M13 



Carl Magnus Bjuggren gratefully acknowledges financial support from the Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Research Foundation as well as from the Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Anyadike-Danes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Carl-Magnus Bjuggren
    • 3
  • Sandra Gottschalk
    • 4
  • Werner Hölzl
    • 5
  • Dan Johansson
    • 6
    • 7
  • Mika Maliranta
    • 8
    • 9
  • Anja Myrann
    • 10
  1. 1.Aston Business SchoolBirminghamUK
  2. 2.Enterprise Research CentreBirminghamUK
  3. 3.IFNStockholmSweden
  4. 4.ZEWMannheimGermany
  5. 5.WIFOWienAustria
  6. 6.HUI ResearchStockholmSweden
  7. 7.Örebro UniversityÖrebroSweden
  8. 8.ETLAHelsinkiFinland
  9. 9.University of JyväskyläJyväskyläFinland
  10. 10.Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic ResearchOsloNorway

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