Productivity dynamics of small and medium enterprises in Taiwan

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Abstract

Using firm level data from Taiwan, this paper examines the link between firm size, growth and productivity. It shows that firms grow because they are more productive and not because they are larger in size. Indeed, the statistical analysis shows that while employment growth among Taiwanese firms was positively related to initial levels of total factor productivity, it was negatively related to initial size. The paper also shows that the productivity-size relationship has a virtuous cycle built in. More productive firms get larger and, in the process, obtain access to resources and information which enables them to become more productive. One implication of these results is that public policies should target productivity rather than size and should support reforms that make it possible for market mechanisms to weed out low productivity firms while facilitating the entry or growth of high productivity firms. Taiwan's ability to keep entry and exit costs low is one reason why productivity gains there have been high.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-84
Number of pages16
JournalSmall Business Economics
Volume18
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics

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