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Un modello di crescita discontinua dell'impresa: teoria ed evidenza empirica

Enrico D'Elia (), Leopoldo Nascia and Alessandro Zeli

No 4, Working Papers from Department of the Treasury, Ministry of the Economy and of Finance

Abstract: Typically, firms change their size through a row of discrete leaps over time. A very basic model allowing for discontinuous growth can be based on a couple of assumptions: (a) in the short run, the firm’s equipment and organization provide the maximum profit only for a given production level, and diverging form it is costly; and (b) in the long run, the firm adjusts its size as if the current equipment had to be exploited until overall profits exceed a given threshold and those expected from the new desired plant for the current production level. Combining the latter two hypotheses entails a number of testable consequences, usually regarded as nuisance facts according to the traditional theories. First of all, the profitability should not be a continuous function of the firms’ size, but exhibits a number of peaks, each corresponding to a different locally optimal size. Secondly, when demand is growing, investment are expected to increase just in those firms where profit falls shorter some given threshold. The model has been tested by using a panel of data on the size and performances of Italian manufacturing firms from 1998 to 2007. Indeed, both the non-parametric analysis and a panel estimation confirm the presence of several “peaks” in the distribution of profitability by size. Furthermore, a negative statistical relationship is apparent between investment and profitability, controlling for the size of firms.

Keywords: Capacity utilization; Discontinuity; Firm’s size; Growth; Investment; Non parametric smoothing; Panel regression; Profit function (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 D92 L11 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 28
Date: 2012-04
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Journal Article: Un modello di crescita discontinua dell’impresa: teoria ed evidenza empirica (2014)
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