Entrepreneurship, business development, firm dynamics, labor market economics, and institutional economics.
Frederic Bastiat once argued in his famous essay “That which is seen, and that which is not seen” that a good analyst should consider not only what is seen, but also what is not seen. However, few studies in the firm growth literature have applied Bastiat’s insight. Researchers as well as policymakers instead focus their attention increasingly on observed growth, that is, what can be seen. Most attention has been directed toward a few high-growth firms (HGFs), often referred to as “gazelles.”
However, the focus on HGFs might be distracting. We know that most firms do not grow, or grow only slowly. Such firms are often treated as a homogenous group and assumed to have no growth ambitions, when they in fact are highly heterogeneous. Most importantly, many of these firms might have chosen to grow had more favorable institutional conditions existed. This is what is not seen.