Small and Medium Enterprises in Thailand: Recent Trends

Abstract

This paper reviews the evolution of small and medium firms in Thailand in recent years. It shows that such firms did not preserve their share of total employment during the period 1987–96; indeed, their share fell from 60% to 52% over this period. Much of this decline was felt in the category of very small firms (with less than 10 workers). This aspect is explored further by looking at small firm employment shares in three sub-periods of varying overall economic growth rates. It is found that when overall economic growth is high, the share of small firms tends to contract possibly because many small firms become medium in size and others disband because their owners can find more remunerative employment in larger firms. In slower growth periods, the employment share of small firms appears to rise probably because larger firms may be taking in less new workers or even laying off workers. The paper also calculates productivity measures (technical efficiency and total factor productivity) and shows that different measures give different rankings by size of firm.

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Wiboonchutikula, P. Small and Medium Enterprises in Thailand: Recent Trends. Small Business Economics 18, 211–224 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1015143709196

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Keywords

  • Economic Growth
  • Slow Growth
  • Growth Period
  • Technical Efficiency
  • Small Firm