We analyze the performance of firms in the German business-related services sector. A quarterly business survey provides the panel data base of our study. Firm performance is measured by the survey respondents' ordinal indication of their changes in total sales. We use a first-order Markov chain and a multinomial logit specification to model the transition probabilitites. Three variants of the model are estimated: a linear index model with and without unobserved firm heterogeneity and a semiparametric model. Main results are that firm size has a positive effect on firm performance, that young firms outperform older competitors, that a bank-relationship with a single creditor has a stabilizing effect and that the degree of diversification has a negative impact on firm performance. The legal status appears to have no significant effect.
Kaiser, Ulrich, Francois Laisney and P. Nguyen van (2000), The Performance of German Firms in the Business-Related Service Sectors, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 00-32, Mannheim. Download