The present paper deals with the question whether “Gibrat’s law” is applicable to Italian mechanical companies active between 1997 and 1999 or not. The analysis was carried at a spatial level splitting companies in four macro-regions: North- West, North – East, Centre and South. On the basis of a set of descriptive and inferential tools, we find that firm size, measured by total assets, follows approximately a log-normal distribution in at least two of the four analyzed macro-regions. Nevertheless log-normality is only one necessary but not sufficient condition for the validity of the Gibrat’s law. Thus we analyzed the influence of firm size on growth rate finding a negative relation between the two variables in all macro-regions. This is a clear violation of Gibrat’s law. Another violation was found by the application of an econometric model which evidences the persistence of growth.
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