The Economic Contribution of High-Growth Firms

PublikationArtikel (med peer review)
Dan Johansson, Entreprenörskap, Företagandets villkor, Gaseller, High-impact firms, Niklas Elert, Sven-Olov Daunfeldt, Tillväxt


Prior studies have defined high-growth firms (HGFs) in terms of growth in firm employment or firm sales, and primarily analyzed their contribution to overall employment growth. In this paper we define HGFs using the commonly applied growth indicators (employment and sales), but also add definitions based on growth in value added and productivity. Our results indicate that HGFs in terms of employment are not the same firms as HGFs in terms of productivity, and that their economic contributions differ significantly. Economic policy promoting fast growth in employment may therefore come at the cost of reduced productivity growth. Although HGFs of different definitions may not be the same firms, young firms are more likely to be HGFs irrespective of definition. This suggests that economic policy should focus on the conditions for new firm formation and early growth of firms, rather than target a particular type of HGFs.

Related content: Working Paper No. 151

Daunfeldt, S-O., Elert, N. & Johansson, D. (2014). The Economic Contribution of High-Growth Firms: Do Policy Implications Depend on the Choice of Growth Indicator?Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, 14(3), 337-365. DOI: 10.1007/s10842-013-0168-7

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Government-sponsored entrepreneurship education: Is less more?
Artikel (med peer review)Publikation
Sjöö, K., Elert, N. & Wennberg, K.



Entrepreneurship research suggests that entrepreneurship education and training can bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship, but little empirical research exists assessing the validity and impact of such initiatives. We examine a large government-sponsored entrepreneurship education program aimed at university students in Sweden. While a pre-study indicates that longer university courses are associated with short-term outcomes such as increased self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions, results from a more comprehensive study using a pre-post design suggest little effect from these extensive courses on long-term outcomes such as new venture creation and entrepreneurial income. In contrast, we do find positive effects on these long-term outcomes from more limited but more specific training interventions, especially for women. Our study suggests that less extensive but more tailored interventions can be more beneficial than longer or more extensive interventions in promoting entrepreneurship in general, and entrepreneurship of underrepresented groups in particular. We discuss implications for theory, education, and policy.

Working Paper no. 328 Wholesale firms: A catalyst for Swedish exports?
Working paperPublikation
Daunfeldt, S-O., Engberg, E., Halvarsson, D., Kokko, A. & Tingvall, P.


Publicerat i

Ratio Working Paper


This paper examines the role of wholesale firms as facilitators of exports for small and medium-sized Swedish businesses. Our findings suggest that wholesale firms do facilitate access to difficult markets located outside Europe. For exports of a particular good to a given market, we observe a positive correlation between the export volumes of wholesale and manufacturing firms. Finally, we present evidence that supports a prediction from recent trade models with differentiated firms, namely that wholesale firms can facilitate exports for firms that are not themselves capable of direct exports.

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