The contribution of New Technology-based Firms (NTBFs) to long term economic development is at the centre of a controversial debate. The paper deals with the question whether NTBFs grow faster than non-innovative young firms or not. Based on theoretical models explaining the growth of firms, hypotheses on potential growth factors are derived. The regression results indicate strong correlations between the growth rate on the one side and firm-specific, founder-specific as well as county-specific factors on the other side. It becomes obvious that large and mature firms have c.p. smaller growth rates than small and young firms. Hereby, statistical tests lead to a rejection of Gibrat's law, indicating a significant correlation between size and growth. Other firm-specific characteristics like legal form and formal links to other firms have an impact on the development of NTBFs as well. With respect to founder-specific characteristics, positive effects can be derived from the human capital of the founder(s). This holds especially for techno-logical disciplines whereas business knowledge plays a minor role. In addition to firm and founder characteristics, location-specific factors controlling for agglomer-ation effects and the industry structure in the West-German counties have an impact on the growth of NTBFs.

Almus, Matthias and E. A. Nerlinger (1998), Beschäftigungsdynamik in jungen innovativen Unternehmen : Empirische Ergebnisse für West-Deutschland, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 98-09, Mannheim, published in: Zeitschrift für Nationalökonomie und Statistik. Download