Universal fluctuations in growth dynamics of economic systems
Frey, Nathan C.
Stanley, H. Eugene
Salinger, Michael A.
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Citation (published version)Nathan C Frey, Sakib Matin, H Eugene Stanley, Michael A Salinger. 2019. "Universal Fluctuations in Growth Dynamics of Economic Systems." Scientific Reports, Volume 9. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-38088-z
The growth of business firms is an example of a system of complex interacting units that resembles complex interacting systems in nature such as earthquakes. Remarkably, work in econophysics has provided evidence that the statistical properties of the growth of business firms follow the same sorts of power laws that characterize physical systems near their critical points. Given how economies change over time, whether these statistical properties are persistent, robust, and universal like those of physical systems remains an open question. Here, we show that the scaling properties of firm growth previously demonstrated for publicly-traded U.S. manufacturing firms from 1974 to 1993 apply to the same sorts of firms from 1993 to 2015, to firms in other broad sectors (such as materials), and to firms in new sectors ( such as Internet services). We measure virtually the same scaling exponent for manufacturing for the 1993 to 2015 period as for the 1974 to 1993 period and virtually the same scaling exponent for other sectors as for manufacturing. Furthermore, we show that fluctuations of the growth rate for new industries self-organize into a power-law over relatively short time scales.
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