nep-ent New Economics Papers
on Entrepreneurship
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
five papers chosen by
Marcus Dejardin
Université de Namur

  1. Who persistently creates jobs? Absolute versus relative high-growth firms By Erhardt, Eva
  2. The Determinants of Growth in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Industry: A Firm-Level Analysis By Giorgio Canarella; Stephen M. Miller
  3. Toward an Assessment of the U.S. Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program at the National Institutes of Health By Link, Albert; Scott, John
  4. The Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs: An Update By Lucia Foster; Patrice Norman
  5. The Walking Dead?: Zombie Firms and Productivity Performance in OECD Countries By Muge Adalet McGowan; Dan Andrews; Valentine Millot

  1. By: Erhardt, Eva
    Abstract: This paper examines the economic contribution of high-growth firms after their high-growth event. While the central role of high-growth firms for job creation is well-established, little is known about their dynamic development in coming periods. We address this question for the first time by comparing absolute with relative growth measures and use data on private firms in Bulgaria for three consecutive 3-year periods (2001-2004, 2004-2007, and 2007-2010). Next to calculating transition probability matrices to investigate growth in employees in coming periods, we model future employment growth by means of a two-part model with separate equations for the probability of survival and exit as well as for growth of survivors and growth of exits. The decomposition of aggregate growth effects shows that it is central for outcomes whether growth is measured in absolute or relative terms. High-growth firms defined according to an absolute measure show the biggest potential for job creation in coming periods while those measured in relative terms without size threshold tend to be outperformed by other firms. In that regard, both public support programs for high-growth firms as well as researchers should refrain more from exclusively applying relative growth measures.
    Keywords: high-growth firms, growth measures, job creation, persistence, Bulgaria
    JEL: C18 D22 J23 L26 P23
    Date: 2017–01
  2. By: Giorgio Canarella (University of Nevada, Las Vegas); Stephen M. Miller (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
    Abstract: Why do some firms grow faster than others? This question has become the focus of a large number of empirical studies in industrial organization, strategic management, and entrepreneurship since the publications of Gibrat (1931) and Penrose (1959). Using an unbalanced panel data set of 85 U.S. information and communication technology (ICT) firms that survived over the period from 1990 to 2013, we examine the effect of firm size, agency costs, R&D investments, capital structure, profitability, and the Great Recession of 2007-2009 on firm growth. Adopting the two-step, system, generalized-method-of-moments estimator for linear dynamic panel models (Blundell and Bond, 1998), we document that growth in the ICT industry is not stochastic, as predicted by Gibrat (1931), but driven by systematic factors. We find compelling evidence that in the ICT industry: (i) firm growth exhibits positive persistence, which endorses the controversial "success-breeds-success" evolutionary hypothesis; (ii) agency costs and financial leverage exert a negative effect on firm growth; (iii) R&D investment and financial performance generate a positive effect on firm growth; (iv) the Great Recession (2007-2009) produced a negative effect on firm growth; (v) a nonlinear, inverted U-shaped relationship exists between firm size and firm growth; and (vi) Gibrat’s law does not hold. Our findings remain robust to transformations using first differences and forward orthogonal deviations as well as principal components reductions. These results are new to the literature, since the dynamics of firm growth has not been documented at the ICT industry level. Noteworthy policy implications emerge because the growth dynamics of the ICT industry move this sector toward more concentration and less competition.
    Keywords: ICT industry; Agency costs; Firm growth; Panel data; system-GMM
    JEL: G21 G28 G32 G34
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Link, Albert (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics); Scott, John (Dartmouth College)
    Abstract: The Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982, which established the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, is arguably the hallmark policy initiative in the United States to support technology development and commercialization in small firms. While scholars have studied this program in detail, there has yet to be a systematic assessment of how well it is meeting its legislated goals of stimulating technological innovation and increasing private sector commercialization. We use a unique set of data on projects funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) SBIR program to assess the extent to which these program goals are being met. We find that, relative to a counterfactual control group, NIH can be characterized as supporting, on average, the development of high commercialization risk technologies, and we suggest that this finding aligns with the goals of the SBIR program and may in fact be for the common weal.
    Keywords: SBIR program; technology; innovation; commercial risk
    JEL: O31 O38
    Date: 2017–06–05
  4. By: Lucia Foster; Patrice Norman
    Abstract: We provide an update on the Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs (ASE), which is a relatively new Census Bureau business survey. About 290,000 employer firms in the private, non-agricultural U.S. economy are in the ASE sample. Its content is relatively constant over collections, allowing for comparability over time; however, each year there are approximately ten new questions in a changing topical module. Earlier topical modules covered innovation (2014) and management practices (2015). The topical module for reference year 2016 covers business advice and planning, finance, and regulations. The ASE is collected through a partnership of the Census Bureau with the Kauffman Foundation and the Minority Business Development Agency. Qualified researchers on approved projects may request access to the ASE micro data through the Federal Statistical Research Data Center (FSRDC) network.
    Keywords: Census Bureau, entrepreneurship, firm-level data, topical module
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Muge Adalet McGowan; Dan Andrews; Valentine Millot
    Abstract: This paper explores the extent to which “zombie” firms – defined as old firms that have persistent problems meeting their interest payments – are stifling labour productivity performance. The results show that the prevalence of and resources sunk in zombie firms have risen since the mid-2000s and that the increasing survival of these low productivity firms at the margins of exit congests markets and constrains the growth of more productive firms. Controlling for cyclical effects, cross-country analysis shows that within-industries over the period 2003-2013, a higher share of industry capital sunk in zombie firms is associated with lower investment and employment growth of the typical non-zombie firm and less productivity-enhancing capital reallocation. Besides limiting the expansion possibilities of healthy incumbent firms, market congestion generated by zombie firms can also create barriers to entry and constrain the post-entry growth of young firms. Finally, we link the rise of zombie firms to the decline in OECD potential output growth through two key channels: business investment and multi-factor productivity growth Les Morts-Vivants ? : Entreprises Zombies et Productivité dans les Pays de l’OCDE Ce document examine dans quelle mesure les entreprises “zombies” – définies comme les entreprises de plus de dix ans rencontrant des problèmes persistants dans le remboursement de leurs intérêts – nuisent aux performances de la productivité du travail. Les résultats montrent que la prévalence des entreprises zombies et les ressources qui y sont renfermées ont augmenté depuis le milieu des années 2000 et que l’augmentation de la survie de ces entreprises à faible productivité, au bord de la sortie, accroît la congestion du marché et limite la croissance des entreprises plus productives. Une analyse portant sur différents pays sur la période 2003-2013 et contrôlant pour les effets conjoncturels montre qu’au sein d’un secteur, une part plus importante de capital renfermé dans les entreprises zombies est associée à un moindre investissement et une plus faible croissance de l’emploi pour l’entreprise non-zombie typique, et à une réaffectation du capital moins favorable à la productivité. Outre le fait qu’elle limite les possibilités de croissance des entreprises saines en place, la congestion du marché générée par les entreprises zombies peut également créer des barrières à l’entrée et limiter la croissance après l’entrée des jeunes entreprises. Enfin, nous relions l’augmentation des entreprises zombies au ralentissement de la croissance potentielle de l’OCDE à travers deux mécanismes principaux : l’investissement des entreprises et la croissance de la productivité multifactorielle.
    Keywords: firm exit, investment, misallocation, productivity, zombie lending
    JEL: D24 E22 G32 O16 O40 O47
    Date: 2017–01–25

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