Firm Dynamics and Changes in Firm Size Distribution: Non-parametric analysis of the effects of technological and other conditions

Author Name GOTO Yasuo  (Senior Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2011 11-J-041
Research Project Financial Stability and Economic Structure
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We present an empirical analysis of changes in firm size distribution (FSD), using micro-data for Japanese firms. Two major viewpoints are adopted for the analysis. One is how FSD changes in response to firm dynamics, namely, firm exit and growth. The other is how economic conditions such as financial constraints and technological conditions influence changes in FSD. Non-parametric analysis reveals that economic constraints have different impacts on FSD, even when there seems to be little effect on the total change of distribution. Relaxing financial constraints or increasing minimum efficient scale (MES) attenuate the changes in FSD through exits, but also enhance changes due to growth. These two effects therefore partially cancel out, reducing the overall impact on FSD. On the other hand, the trade ratio significantly affects FSD, because the effects of exit and growth act in the same direction. The relative impact of exit and growth on FSD also differs depending on firm attributes, such as number of years of operation. This result suggests that further empirical analysis using more comprehensive and multifaceted data is needed for studying the effects of economic conditions, such as financial constraints, on changes in firm size distribution.