This paper explores the firm growth rate distribution in a Gibrat’s Law context. The aim is to provide an empirical exploration of the determinants of firm growth. The work is novel in two respects. First, rather than limiting the analysis to focus on the conditional mean growth level, we investigate the complete shape of the distribution. Second, we show that the differences in the firm growth rate process between large and small firms are highly circumstantial. That industry dynamics have a substantial influence on the relationship between firm size and firm growth. The data used includes more than 9000 Danish firms from manufacturing, services and construction. We provide robust evidence indicating that firm growth studies should be less obsessed with explaining means and instead look to other parts of the firm growth rate distribution.
Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 219-231 (2010)