Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms
Steven Davis (),
Ron Jarmin () and
No 12354, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc
We study the variability of business growth rates in the U.S. private sector from 1976 onwards. To carry out our study, we exploit the recently developed Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), which contains annual observations on employment and payroll for all U.S. businesses. Our central finding is a large secular decline in the cross sectional dispersion of firm growth rates and in the average magnitude of firm level volatility. Measured the same way as in other recent research, the employment-weighted mean volatility of firm growth rates has declined by more than 40% since 1982. This result stands in sharp contrast to previous findings of rising volatility for publicly traded firms in COMPUSTAT data. We confirm the rise in volatility among publicly traded firms using the LBD, but we show that its impact is overwhelmed by declining volatility among privately held firms. This pattern holds in every major industry group. Employment shifts toward older businesses account for 27 percent or more of the volatility decline among privately held firms. Simple cohort effects that capture higher volatility among more recently listed firms account for most of the volatility rise among publicly traded firms.
JEL-codes: D21 E32 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec
Note: CF EFG
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (127) Track citations by RSS feed
Published as Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms , Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Ron Jarmin, Javier Miranda. in NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2006, Volume 21 , Acemoglu, Rogoff, and Woodford. 2007
Downloads: (external link)
Chapter: Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded versus Privately Held Firms (2007)
Working Paper: Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms (2006)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12354
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Series data maintained by ().