Small Business Economics

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 1075–1094 | Cite as

Institutional drivers of high-growth firms: country-level evidence from 26 transition economies

  • Besnik A. Krasniqi
  • Sameeksha Desai


High-growth firms (HCF) represent a highly desirable subset of firms, which provide disproportionate economic gains, and greater insight into their determinants which is of interest to policymakers, scholars and business owners. We contribute to the literature on HGFs, which is largely absent of cross-national institutional studies, by examining the institutional conditions driving HGFs in 26 transition countries over a long period comprising three panels between 1998 and 2009. Using an institutional hierarchy approach, we test for the influence of formal and informal institutions on HGF prevalence in countries. Our analysis relies first on a principal component analysis to identify institutional factors. Second, we use GLS estimation to test the influence of these three factors on HGF prevalence in a country, followed by a robustness check. Our results show that interaction effects, rather than direct effects, are useful in explaining systematic variations in HGFs prevalence in transition economies. We find that the interaction between formal and informal institutions positively influences HGFs. Further, we find that in fast-reforming transition economies, more burdensome formal institutions discourage HGFs but in slow-reforming transition economies, informal institutions encourage HGFs.


High-growth firms Institutions Transition Formal Informal 

JEL Classifications

L26 O25 P2 P3 



Besnik Krasniqi thanks the US State Department Fulbright program for support in Fall 2014 for time at Indiana University, as well as staff at the Institute for Development Strategies. We thank David Audretsch and Diemo Urbig for helpful discussion.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PrishtinaPrishtinaKosovo
  2. 2.Indiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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