The relationship between the size, age and growth rate of firms is examined for a large sample of micro and small firms in Sweden. These firms have between 1–100 employees and operate in a geographically concentrated area. Micro and small firms are dominant in the industrial structure and thus their growth patterns are crucial to the economic growth of the region. The period of study is of particular interest because it allows us to evaluate the effects of various regional development policy programs on the growth and formation of firms. The data is an unbalanced panel covering the period 1993–1998. We allow for the exit and entry of firms. The growth rate is defined in terms of the number of employees, sales and assets. In the estimation of the growth rate we control for various factors characterizing the sample firms, their capital structure, performance, human capital, and local labor market conditions. Our results show that the relationship between the growth, size and age of firms is very sensitive with respect to the method of estimation, functional form and definition of growth and size.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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