studying firm growth distributions with a large administrative employment database - replication data
This paper uses business tax administrative data to describe the annual firm growth rate distribution in Canada over the 2000-2009 period. This administrative tax database provides a unique lense to study firm growth as it allows us to look at the universe of Canadian employer firms and investigate the firm growth distribution across different dimensions. A non-normal, fat-tailed shape for the firm growth distributions holds across years, industries, regions, as well as firm size and age classes. The results show that the distributions of employment growth rates in Canada have more density in both the center and tails than a normal distribution. The evidence paints a picture of firm growth dynamics whereby most firms change very little each year, while a nontrivial amount also markedly grow or decline. A final finding is that young firms, aged four or less, represent a special case with an upwardly skewed distribution and a median growth rate greater than zero.