2017/03 LEM Working Paper Series

Persistent high-growth firms in China's manufacturing

Daniele Moschella, Federico Tamagni and Xiaodan Yu
High-growth firms, Persistent high-growth firms, China

  JEL Classifications
D22, D24, L26

This article explores the association between persistence of high- growth and crucial dimensions of firm structure and performance (productivity, profits, investme nt patterns, innovation and financial structures) to shed light on what makes a persistent high-growth fir m. We employ a multidimensional definition of an high-growth firm that simultaneously accounts for growth of sales and employment, and design an empirical strategy that seeks to capture the “long-run” abil ity of high-growth firms to replicate their high-growth performance over time. Exploiting a l arge panel covering the period of the China’s miracle, we find that none of the considered firm attributes st ands out as distinctive feature of persistent high-growth. This finding casts doubts on the long-run c ontribution of high-growth firms, in turn challenging the long-run effectiveness of policies supporti ng the creation and expansion of such firms.
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