SMEs' Growth Heterogeneity - Evidence from Regional Developments

Christina E. Bannier, Sabrina Zahn


Previous empirical research on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) frequently struggled with the extreme heterogeneity of these frms. We scrutinise one major source of this heterogeneity: SMEs' growth development. Based on a large dataset of French, Italian, UK and US firms between 2000 and 2008, we find that SMEs fall in two categories in all countries: One large group of firms that display only slow growth and one much smaller group that actively seek strong growth. We show that the growth factors particularly of the slowly-growing firms vary strongly between the countries. European SMEs differ mainly in the growth effects of their ownership structures. US firms set themselves apart via the growth impact of their capital structures. Strongly-growing SMEs, in contrast, develop much more homogeneously in cross-country comparison.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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