Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 748 Abstract:
Most firms begin very small, and large firms are the result of typically decades of persistent growth. This growth can be understood as the result of some form of capital accumulation-organization capital. In the US, the distribution of firm size k has a right tail only slightly thinner than 1/k. This means that most capital accumulation must be accounted for by incumbent fi rms. This paper describes a range of circumstances in which this implies aggregate convergence rates that are only about half of what they are in the standard Cass-Koopmans economy. Through the lens of the models described in this paper, the aftermath of the Great Recession of 2008 is unsurprising if the events of late 2008 and early 2009 are interpreted as a destruction of organization capital.
关键词: Slow recoveries, Firm size distribution, Zipf's law, and Business cycles 学科: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles and L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 724 Abstract:
This paper describes how long-run growth emerges in four closely related models that combine individual discovery with some form of social learning. In a large economy, there is a continuum of long-run growth rates and associated stationary distributions when it is possible to learn from individuals in the right tail of the productivity distribution. What happens in the long run depends on initial conditions. Two distinct literatures, one on reaction-diffusion equations, and another on quasi-stationary distributions suggest a unique long-run outcome when the initial productivity distribution has bounded support.
关键词: Knowledge diffusion and Growth 学科: O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 715 Abstract:
Randomness in individual discovery tends to spread out productivities in a population, while learning from others keeps productivities together. In combination, these two mechanisms for knowledge accumulation give rise to long-term growth and persistent income inequality. This paper considers a world in which those with more useful knowledge can teach those with less useful knowledge, with competitive markets assigning students to teachers. In equilibrium, students who are able to learn quickly are assigned to teachers with the most productive knowledge. The long-run growth rate of this economy is governed by the rate at which the fastest learners can learn. The income distribution reflects learning ability and serendipity, both in individual discovery and in the assignment of students to teachers. Because of naturally arising indeterminacies in this assignment, payoff irrelevant characteristics can be predictors of individual income growth. Ability rents can be large when fast learners are scarce, when the process of individual discovery is not too noisy, and when overhead labor costs are low.
关键词: Inequality, Knowledge diffusion, and Growth 学科: O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General, L20 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General, and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 703 Abstract:
Consider an economy in which various types of labor are used to produce consumption, but not all types of labor are useful for upgrading the stock of organization capital–that is, for replacing old projects with more productive new projects. When news induces consumers to want to save more, low-quality projects are destroyed across all sectors of the economy, even though the economy is set to increase its stock of new projects. Labor that can be used to create new projects becomes more expensive and labor that cannot becomes cheap. Average wages may not change at all, and the employment of workers who cannot invest in new projects will decline. If physical capital complements the inputs of these workers, investment in physical capital tends to move together with their employment. These results are derived analytically for a prototype economy that has the essential ingredients of empirically relevant equilibrium models of firm heterogeneity.
关键词: Aggregate consumption, Factor prices, and Bayesian updating 学科: E32 - Business Fluctuations; Cycles, L16 - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics: Industrial Structure and Structural Change; Industrial Price Indices, and E25 - Aggregate Factor Income Distribution
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 699 Abstract:
This paper adds imitation by incumbent firms, and not just by new entrants, to the model of selection and growth developed in Luttmer . Noisy firm-level innovation and imitation give rise to a long-run growth rate that exceeds the average rate at which individual firms innovate. It can be shown, in simple examples, that the economy converges to a long-run balanced growth path from compactly supported initial productivity distributions. The right tail of the stationary distribution of de-trended productivity is approximately Pareto. The tail index of this distribution depends on the rate at which incumbents are able to imitate only indirectly, through general equilibrium effects of this parameter on the equilibrium growth rate.
关键词: Technology diffusion, Size distribution of firms, and Endogenous growth 学科: O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes and L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 696 Abstract:
This paper presents a simple formula that relates the tail index of the firm size distribution to the aggregate speed with which an economy converges to its balanced growth path. The fact that there are so many firms in the right tail implies that aggregate shocks that permanently destroy employment among incumbent firms, rather than cause these firms to scale back temporarily, are followed by slow recoveries. This is true despite the presence of many rapidly growing firms. Aggregate convergence rates are non-linear: they can be very high for economies far below the balanced growth path and very low for advanced economies.
关键词: Recoveries, Firm size distribution, Recessions, and Firm growth 学科: E10 - General Aggregative Models: General and L10 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance: General
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 678 Abstract:
Although employment at individual firms tends to be highly non-stationary, the employment size distribution of all firms in the United States appears to be stationary. It closely resembles a Pareto distribution. There is a lot of entry and exit, mostly of small firms. This paper surveys general equilibrium models that can be used to interpret these facts and explores the role of innovation by new and incumbent firms in determining aggregate growth. The existence of a balanced growth path with a stationary employment size distribution depends crucially on assumptions made about the cost of entry. Some type of labor must be an essential input in setting up new firms.
关键词: Heterogeneous productivity, Firm size distribution, Selection, and Organization capital 学科: O33 - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes and E10 - General Aggregative Models: General
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 672 Abstract:
Suppose firms are subject to decreasing returns and permanent idiosyncratic productivity shocks. Suppose also firms can only stay in business by continuously paying a fixed cost. New firms can enter. Firms with a history of relatively good productivity shocks tend to survive and others are forced to exit. This paper identifies assumptions about entry that guarantee a stationary firm size distribution and lead to balanced growth. The range of technology diffusion mechanisms that can be considered is greatly expanded relative to previous work. High entry costs slow down the selection process and imply slow aggregate growth. They also push the firm size distribution in the direction of Zipf’s law.
关键词: Productivity, Selection, Imitation, and Diffusion 学科: O30 - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights: General and L10 - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance: General
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 657 Abstract:
Given a common technology for replicating blueprints, high-quality blueprints will be replicated more quickly than low-quality blueprints. If quality begets quality, and firms are identified with collections of blueprints derived from the same initial blueprint, then, along a balanced growth path, Gibrat’s Law holds for every type of firm. A firm size distribution with the thick right tail observed in the data can then arise only when the number of blueprints in the economy grows over time, or else firms cannot grow at a positive rate on average. But when calibrated to match the observed firm entry rate and the right tail of the size distribution, this model implies that the median age among firms with more than 10,000 employees is about 750 years. The problem is Gibrat’s Law. If the relative quality of a firm’s blueprints depreciates as the firm ages, then the firm’s growth rate slows down over time. By allowing for rapid and noisy initial growth, this version of the model can explain high observed entry rates, a thick-tailed size distribution, and the relatively young age of large U.S. corporations.
关键词: Gibrat's Law, Firm age and size distribution, and Capital accumulation 学科: L11 - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms and O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General
Creator: Luttmer, Erzo G. J. Series: Working paper (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department) Number: 649 Abstract:
This paper describes a simple model of aggregate and firm growth based on the introduction of new goods. An incumbent firm can combine labor with blueprints for goods it already produces to develop new blueprints. Every worker in the economy is also a potential entrepreneur who can design a new blueprint from scratch and set up a new firm. The implied firm size distribution closely matches the fat tail observed in the data when the marginal entrepreneur is far out in the tail of the entrepreneurial skill distribution. The model produces a variance of firm growth that declines with size. But the decline is more rapid than suggested by the evidence. The model also predicts a new-firm entry rate equal to only 2.5% per annum, instead of the observed rate of 10% in U.S. data.