The Firm Size-Leverage Relationship and Its Implications for Entry and Business Concentration
Abstract: Larger firms (by sales or employment) have higher leverage. This pattern is explained using a model in which firms produce multiple varieties, acquire new varieties from their inventors, and borrow against the future cash flow of the firm with the option to default. A variety can die with a constant probability, implying that firms with more varieties (bigger firms) have a lower variance of sales growth and, in equilibrium, higher leverage. In this setup, a drop in the risk-free rate increases the value of an acquisition more for bigger firms because of their higher leverage: They can (and do) borrow a larger fraction of their future cash flow. The drop causes existing firms to buy more of the new varieties arriving into the economy, resulting in a lower startup rate and greater concentration of sales.
Keywords: Startup rates; concentration; leverage; firm dynamics;
JEL Classification: E22; E43; E44; G32; G33; G34;
File(s): File format is text/html https://www.philadelphiafed.org/-/media/frbp/assets/working-papers/2022/wp22-07.pdf
Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Part of Series: Working Papers
Publication Date: 2022-03-17