Firm Sizes and Economic Development: Estimating Long‐Term Effects on U.S. County Growth, 1990–2000
18 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2015
Date Written: March 2015
This paper investigates the role of the business size distribution on income and employment growth in U.S. counties from 1990 to 2000. We measure the business size distribution as the share of employees across nine establishment size categories that range from microfirms (one to four employees) to large firms (1,000+ employees) and using three indices similar to a Gini coefficient. Results show that the business size distribution has a significant impact on county‐level growth patterns. Employment shares in small firms increase employment growth, but decrease income growth. One possible conclusion suggests policies emphasizing small firms and entrepreneurship during times of high unemployment.
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