High Growth Young Firms: Contribution to Job, Output, and Productivity Growth
Recent research shows that the job creating prowess of small firms in the U.S. is better attributed to startups and young firms that are small. But most startups and young firms either fail or don’t create jobs. A small proportion of young firms grow rapidly and they account for the long lasting contribution of startups to job growth. High growth firms are not well understood in terms of either theory or evidence. Although the evidence of their role in job creation is mounting, little is known about their life cycle dynamics, or their contribution to other key outcomes such as real output growth and productivity. In this paper, we enhance the Longitudinal Business Database with gross output (real revenue) measures. We find that the patterns for high output growth firms largely mimic those for high employment growth firms. High growth output firms are disproportionately young and make disproportionate contributions to output and productivity growth. The share of activity accounted for by high growth output and employment firms varies substantially across industries – in the post 2000 period the share of activity accounted for by high growth firms is significantly higher in the High Tech and Energy related industries. A firm in a small business intensive industry is less likely to be a high output growth firm but small business intensive industries don’t have significantly smaller shares of either employment or output activity accounted for by high growth firms.
University of Maryland and NBER, U.S. Census Bureau, University of Maryland, and U.S. Census Bureau, respectively. We thank David Brown, Tim Dunne, participants of the NBER/CRIW Conference on Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses, and participants of the 2015 ASSA meetings for helpful comments. We thank the Kauffman Foundation for financial support. Any opinions and conclusions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Census Bureau. All results have been reviewed to ensure that no confidential information is disclosed.
Ron S. Jarmin
I received no personal financial remuneration for this work. I was a Co-PI on a Kauffman Foundation grant that funded RA support.Javier Miranda
In compliance with the requirement of the Journal’s disclosure policy, I would like to state that I, Javier Miranda, am an employee of the U.S. Census Bureau. I have received no direct financial support from any organization but I am one of the Principal Investigators on the grant from the Kauffman Foundation that we note in the acknowledgements section. The support from the Kauffman Foundation is directly related to this research as they have supported the development of the data infrastructure used in this paper as well as research analysis related to the topics in this paper. We are also using proprietary data in this paper housed at the U.S. Bureau of the Census. As we note in the acknowledgements section “All results have been reviewed to ensure that no confidential information is disclosed.”