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Firms' Growth, Size and Age: A Nonparametric Approach

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Abstract

This paper offers empirical evidence of firm failurerates as well as the mean of the distribution ofrealized growth rates, distinguishing between thesample of non-failing firms and the sample of allfirms, failing and non-failing. Attention is directedat identifying a set of characteristics, in particularthe size and age of firms, systematically related tothe patterns of firm growth and exit, using a panel ofSpanish manufacturing firms. The two maincontributions of the paper are the use ofnonparametric techniques and the analysis of issuesignored in other studies like theregression-to-the-mean bias and the measurement oflearning effects. We find evidence that failure ratesand the mean growth rate of successful firms declinewith size and age. When failing firms are integrated,there are no significant differences in the meangrowth rate across the age and size of firms.Regression-to-the-mean does not prove to be asubstantial factor behind the negative relationshipbetween size and growth of surviving firms.

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Fariñas, J.C., Moreno, L. Firms' Growth, Size and Age: A Nonparametric Approach. Review of Industrial Organization 17, 249–265 (2000). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007834210622

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