Growth processes of high-growth firms as a four-dimensional chicken and egg

Alex Coad, Marc Cowling, Josh Siepel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article investigates whether high-growth firms grow in different ways from other firms. Specifically, we analyze how firms grow along several dimensions (growth of sales, employment, assets, and operating profits) using Structural Vector Autoregressions. Causal relations are identified by using information contained in the (non-Gaussian) growth rate distributions. For most firms, the growth process starts with employment growth, which is then followed by sales growth, then growth of operating profits, and finally growth of assets. In contrast, high growth firms put more emphasis on growth of operating profits driving other dimensions of growth, with employment growth occurring at the end.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-554
Number of pages18
JournalIndustrial and Corporate Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 3 Oct 2016

Bibliographical note

© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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