An international cohort comparison of size effects on job growth

Michael Anyadike-Danes*, Carl-Magnus Bjuggren, Sandra Gottschalk, Werner Hölzl, Dan Johansson, Mika Maliranta, Anja Myrann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The contribution of different-sized businesses to job creation continues to attract policymakers’ attention; however, it has recently been recognised that conclusions about size were confounded with the effect of age. We probe the role of size, controlling for age, by comparing the cohorts of firms born in 1998 over their first decade of life, using variation across half a dozen northern European countries Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and the UK to pin down size effects. We find that a very small proportion of the smallest firms play a crucial role in accounting for cross-country differences in job growth. A closer analysis reveals that the initial size distribution and survival rates do not seem to explain job growth differences between countries, rather it is a small number of rapidly growing firms that are driving this result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-844
Number of pages24
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
Early online date17 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via

Funding: Jan Wallander and Tom Hedelius Research Foundation as well as from the
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation.


  • birth cohort
  • distributed micro-data analysis
  • firm age
  • firm growth
  • firm size
  • firm survival


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