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Grupo de Estudos Monetários e Financeiros

Estudos do GEMF, N.º 04 de 2005


The Dynamics of the Growth of Firms: Evidence from the Services Sector

(Publicado em Empirica 35(3): 293-312, 2008)

Blandina Oliveira
ESTG, Instituto Politécnico de Leiria

Adelino Fortunato
Faculdade de Economia and GEMF, Universidade de Coimbra

Using a dynamic panel data model with serial correlation in the error term, the purpose of this paper is to examine if Gibrat’s law can be rejected for the services sector as it has been for manufacturing. The aim of this paper is also to improve the understanding of the empirical determinants of firm growth by extending the literature to include a new variable related to foreign participation. In addition, and based on recent developments in the growth of firms, our analysis also includes the role of the financial structure. The sample used is an unbalanced panel data set that includes all size classes, including the smallest surviving firms, from the Portuguese service sector over the period from 1995 to 2001. Applying the GMM-system and pooled OLS estimators our findings suggest that Gibrat’s law is rejected for services firms. In addition, the results also indicate that firm growth is mainly explained by firm size and age. These results have significant policy implications.

JEL Classification: L11, C23, L80.

Keywords: Firm growth; Panel data; GMM estimators; Services.

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