High-Growth Firms: Not So Vital After All?

PublicationArticle (with peer review)
Daniel Halvarsson, Entreprenörskap, Företagandets villkor, Gaseller, High-growth firms, Innovation, Oana Mihaescu, Sven-Olov Daunfeldt


High-growth firms have received considerable interest recently since they create most of the new jobs in the economy. The purpose of our paper is to investigate the characteristics of high-growth firms prior to their growth period, and whether these characteristics differ across industries. Using data on a large sample of limited liability firms in Sweden for the period 2007-2010, we find that high-growth firms do not have the characteristics that we typically associate with successful firms. On the contrary, our results indicate that high-growth firms initially have low profits and a weak financial position. This might explain why studies have found that so few high-growth firms are capable of sustaining their high growth rates in subsequent periods, and thus question policies that are targeted towards these companies.
Related content: Working paper No. 263

Daunfeldt, S-O., Halvarsson, D., & Mihaescu, O. (2016). High-Growth Firms: Not So Vital After All?International Review of Entrepreneurship, 14(4), paper no. 1541.

Similar content

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
Book chapterPublication
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publication year


Published in

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.


There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

Assessing user perceptions of the interplay between the sharing, access, platform and community‐based economies
Article (with peer review)Publication
Geissinger, A., Laurell, C., Öberg, C., Sandström, C. & Suseno, Y.
Publication year



Digitally intermediated peer-to-peer exchanges have accelerated in occurrence, and as a consequence, they have introduced an increased pluralism of connotations. Accordingly, this paper aims to assess user perceptions of the interplay between the sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies.

The sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies have been systematically tracked in the social media landscape using Social Media Analytics (SMA). In doing so, a total material of 62,855 publicly posted user-generated content concerning the four respective economies were collected and analyzed.

Even though the sharing economy has been conceptually argued to be interlinked with the access, platform, and community-based economies, the empirical results of the study do not validate this interlinkage. Instead, the results regarding user perceptions in social media show that the sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies manifest as clearly separated.

This paper contributes to existing literature by offering an empirical validation, as well as an in-depth understanding, of the sharing economy’s interlinkage to other economies, along with the extent to which the overlaps between these economies manifest in social media.

Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Asymmetric Double Type II Pareto Distributions
Article (with peer review)Publication
Halvarsson, D.
Publication year



This paper considers a flexible class of asymmetric double Pareto distributions (ADP) that allows for skewness and asymmetric heavy tails. The inference problem is examined for maximum likelihood. Consistency is proven for the general case when all parameters are unknown. After deriving the Fisher information matrix, asymptotic normality and efficiency are established for a restricted model with the location parameter known. The asymptotic properties of the estimators are then examined using Monte Carlo simulations. To assess its goodness of fit, the ADP is applied to companies’ growth rates, for which it is favored over competing models.

Show more

Postgiro: 382621-1


Bankgiro: 512-6578