The Growth, Decline and Survival of Small Businesses: An Exploratory Study of Life Cycles

20 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009

See all articles by Brian Headd

Brian Headd

U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy

Bruce A. Kirchhoff

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Abstract

Using U.S. Census Bureau special tabulations, we follow a cohort of small (single-establishment) firms formed in 1992 and a cohort of fast growers to 2002 to track their employment changes. Explorative findings showed growing firms as generally a constant share of the economy with a minor business cycle effect, growing firms outnumbering decliners, new firms not growing much, and fast growers in a given year tending to revert to the mean in the following year. The findings are presented as an opening statement, but are far from final salvo into the discussion of small-firm growth.

Suggested Citation

Headd, Brian and Kirchhoff, Bruce A., The Growth, Decline and Survival of Small Businesses: An Exploratory Study of Life Cycles. Journal of Small Business Management, Vol. 47, Issue 4, pp. 531-550, October 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1487277 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-627X.2009.00282.x

Brian Headd (Contact Author)

U.S. Small Business Administration, Office of Advocacy ( email )

409 Third Street, SW
Washington, DC 20416
United States

Bruce A. Kirchhoff

New Jersey Institute of Technology ( email )

323 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Newark, NJ 07102
United States
973-596-5658 (Phone)
973-596-3074 (Fax)

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