Exploiting a novel database recently built from national business registers by the OECD with the support of an international network of experts, this paper investigates the growth dynamics of micro-firms (employing less than ten workers) across 16 countries. Results show that only a small proportion of micro-firms manage to grow beyond ten employees, but those contribute disproportionately to overall job creation. Econometric analysis focusing in particular on the role of age confirms that young micro-firms—especially those below 3 years of age—are much more likely to grow above ten employees than older firms. These findings are remarkably stable over the three time periods considered (2001–2004, 2004–2007, and 2007–2010), i.e., also during the Great Recession.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 21, 2016
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