Small Business Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 633–656 | Cite as

What does (not) characterize persistent corporate high-growth?

  • Stefano Bianchini
  • Giulio Bottazzi
  • Federico Tamagni


Theoretical and empirical studies of firm–industry dynamics have extensively focused on the process of growth. Theory predicts innovation, efficiency, profitability and financial status as the central channels through which firms can possibly achieve outstanding growth performance. The question is whether such high-growth performance is sustained over time and, if so, what are the factors enabling persistent high-growth patterns. Exploiting panels of Italian, Spanish, French and UK firms, we relate high growth, persistent high growth and other growth patterns to measures of efficiency, innovativeness, profitability and financial conditions. We find that high-growth firms are characterized by higher productivity and leverage, and that persistent high-growth firms do not systematically differ from other high-growth firms in none of the considered economic and financial dimensions. The findings are robust across countries, manufacturing and services.


High growth firms Persistent high-growth Productivity Firm age Firm size 

JEL Classifications

D22 D24 L26 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefano Bianchini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Giulio Bottazzi
    • 2
  • Federico Tamagni
    • 2
  1. 1.BETAUniversity of Strasbourg StrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Institute of EconomicsScuola Superiore Sant’AnnaPisaItaly

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