The Demographics of Global Corporate Champions
Bruegel; Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics
July 15, 2008
Bruegel Working Paper No. 2008/03
This Working Paper presents a novel dataset documenting the demographics of the world’s 500 largest companies by market capitalization, as of 30 September 2007. Assigning a birth date to a large company is not a straightforward exercise and involves a measure of judgment, which possibly explains why data on corporate demographics have not been more widely researched in spite of their potential interest to policymakers. However, our methodology, based on the collection of narrative data which is publicly accessible online, generates robust results, which we hope may help spur increased interest in corporate demographics. Corporate demographics provide a basis for comparing different national and regional business environments. Our focus on the very largest companies illustrates a stark contrast between the main global economic regions. In Europe and Japan, large companies tend to be fairly old, and very few ‘global champions’ have been created in the past half-century. In the United States, older champions coexist with a significant number of new ones, generated mainly in high-tech sectors and low/mid-tech services. In emerging economies, most champions were born in the second half of the 20th century and reflect a rapid catch-up growth process. Policy implications, especially for Europe and Japan, are very briefly discussed in the conclusion, with an emphasis on enabling the emergence of innovation ecosystems and on unleashing the growth potential of services sectors as possible ways for Europe and Japan to regain some of their ability to generate new global corporate champions.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 25
Keywords: Economic Nationalism, Corporate Demographics, Multinational Companies
JEL Classification: L11, M13, N80working papers series
Date posted: February 7, 2012
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