We show that the firm-size distribution is an important determinant of the relationship between an industry’s employment and output. A theoretical model predicts that changes in demand for an industry’s output have larger effects on employment, resulting from adjustments at both the intensive and extensive margin, in industries characterised by a distribution that has a lower density of large firms. Industry-specific shape parameters of the firm size distributions are estimated using firm-level data from Germany, Sweden and the UK, and used to augment a relationship between industry-level employment and output. The empirical results align with the predictions of the theory.
- firm distribution
- firm size