2014/11 LEM Working Paper Series
What does (not) determine persistent corporate high-growth ?

Stefano Bianchini, Giulio Bottazzi, Federico Tamagni
High-growth firms, Persistent high-growth, Productivity, Firm age, Firm size

  JEL Classifications
D22, D24, L26

Theoretical and empirical studies of industry dynamics have extensively focused on the process of growth. Theory predicts production efficiency, profitability and financial status as the central channels through which firms can survive, grow and eventually achieve out- standing growth performance. Does the same conceptual framework provide a convincing explanation of persistent corporate high-growth? Exploiting panels of Italian, Spanish, French and UK firms we find no evidence that this is the case: companies experiencing persistent high growth are not more productive nor more profitable, and do not display peculiarly different financial conditions than firms that only exhibit high, but not persis- tent, growth performance. The finding is robust across countries, across manufacturing and services, and also controlling for firm innovation, age and size.
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