Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Evidence from Micro-Level Sources in OECD Countries

Posted: 29 Feb 2008

See all articles by Eric J. Bartelsman

Eric J. Bartelsman

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam; Tinbergen Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Stefano Scarpetta

OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Fabiano Schivardi

Luiss Guido Carli - Department of Economics and Finance; Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: June 2005

Abstract

In this paper, we present cross-country evidence on firm size distribution, firm demographic and post-entry performance for 10 OECD countries. We use harmonized firm-level data drawn from business registers or social security records.These data enable international comparisons and the identification of idiosyncratic country effects. While average firm size differs across countries, due to both sectoral specialization and within-sector characteristics, we find similar degrees of firm churning across countries. In most of them, about 20% of firms enter and exit most markets every year; and about 20-40% of entering firms fail within the first 2 years of life. However, post-entry growth of successful entrants is much higher in the USA than in Europe, which may be indicative of barriers to firm growth as opposed to barriers to entry.

Suggested Citation

Bartelsman, Eric J. and Scarpetta, Stefano and Schivardi, Fabiano, Comparative Analysis of Firm Demographics and Survival: Evidence from Micro-Level Sources in OECD Countries (June 2005). Industrial and Corporate Change, Vol. 14, Issue 3, pp. 365-391, 2005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=914655

Eric J. Bartelsman (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam ( email )

Amsterdam, ND North Holland
Netherlands
+31 (0)20 44 46044 (Phone)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

Stefano Scarpetta

OECD, Directorate for Employment, Labour and Social Affairs ( email )

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France
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+33 1 45 24 18 59 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Fabiano Schivardi

Luiss Guido Carli - Department of Economics and Finance ( email )

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Rome, Rome 00187
Italy

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Due Macelli, 73
Rome, 00187
Italy

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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