Title: Distribution patterns of small firms in developed economies: is there an emergent global pattern?

Authors: Michael T. Schaper

Addresses: Small Business Commissioner of the Australian Capital Territory, 220 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon ACT 2612, Australia

Abstract: An examination of the size distribution of firms in several developed nations (including the USA, Australia, the members of the European Union and New Zealand) suggests that there are at least three fundamental characteristics common to most countries. Firstly, in each nation, SMEs appear to account for no less than 95%, or 19 out of every 20 firms in existence. Conversely, large firms rarely exceed a |1 in 20| distribution rule. A second common trend is that microfirms predominate over all other firms in each country, giving rise to a pyramid-type structure in which large enterprises are the numerically smallest cohort in every economy. Finally, although there may be some minor variations in figures from one time period to another, the patterns appear to be relatively fixed and enduring, suggesting that these phenomena are fundamental components of the economic structure of each nation.

Keywords: Australia; European Union; New Zealand; UK; USA; United States; United Kingdom; small firms; economic distribution patterns; size distribution; SMEs.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2006.008927

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2006 Vol.3 No.2, pp.183 - 189

Available online: 03 Feb 2006 *

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