This project which started in October 1998 is part of the DFG main topic “Interdisciplinary Research into Firm Foundation”. The main objective of the project is the evaluation of the post entry performance of young firms founded in the early 1990s. Moreover, it focuses on the different development patterns of start-ups in East and West Germany, on the determinants of various market exit choices as well as on the factors that influence the emergence of fast growing firms. A computer assisted telephone survey was conducted in 1999 to investigate the above mentioned research questions. The sample comprises 12,000 firms having started between 1990 and 1993 in East and West Germany. The ZEW Foundation Panels for East and West Germany represent the parent population for the sample. In the survey, firm representatives as well as other persons involved in the firm have been addressed. The survey yielded about 3,700 interviews. In addition, in a considerable number of cases at least the information whether the firm still exists or has dropped out of the market is available. Comprehensive analyses regarding survival and employment growth were carried out using the survey data set as well as information available in the ZEW Foundation Panels for East and West Germany. Our results confirm the influence of several determinants on the survival and growth of young firms that proved to be of importance in a number of previous empirical analyses for other countries, industry classifications and time periods. Apart from these quantitative analyses, case studies with in-depth interviews were performed to learn more about firm internal conditions and actions that contribute to the fast growth of a firm.

Selected Publications

Monographs, Contributions to Edited Volumes

Almus, Matthias and E.A. Nerlinger (1999), Zum Zusammenhang zwischen Größe und Wachstum bei Gründungen - Empirische Ergebnisse für West-Deutschland, in: Bellmann, L. und V. Steiner Beiträge zur Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, LLL:citation.label.volume 229 Nürnberg, 177-196.

Almus, Matthias, E.A. Nerlinger and F. Steil (1999), Growth Determinants of Start-ups in Eastern Germany, A Comparison between Innovative and Non-innovatives Firms, in: Oakey, R., W. During and S.-M. Mukhtar LLL:citation.label.volume VI, Pergamon, Amsterdam, 283-296.

Discussion and Working Papers

Almus, Matthias, Susanne Prantl, Josef Brüderl, Konrad Stahl and Michael Woywode (2001), Die ZEW-Gründerstudie - Konzeption und Erhebung, ZEW Documentation LLL:citation.label.number 01-01, Mannheim. Download

Almus, Matthias (2000), What Characterizes a Fast Growing Firm?, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 00-64, Mannheim. Download

Project duration

01.10.1998 - 30.09.2000

Project members

Prof. Konrad Stahl, Ph.D. (Coordinator)
Dr. Matthias Almus
Prof. Josef Brüderl
Dr. Georg Licht
Jürgen Moka
Susanne Prantl
Dr. Michael Woywode

Cooperation partner

Werner Strahler, Verband der Vereine Creditreform e.V., Neuss, DE