High-growth versus declining firms: The differential impact of human capital and R&D

Micheline Goedhuys - Degelin*, L. Sleuwaegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We provide evidence that both human capital and R&D increase the likelihood that a firm will be a high-growth firm in the industry. However, different from human capital, being an R&D active firm also increases the probability of substantial decline or failure, underscoring the risky nature of innovation. Quantile regression results show that, different from R&D, human capital is growth-enhancing for all firms, hence also those located in the lower quantiles of the distribution of growth rates across firms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-372
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Economics Letters
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

JEL classifications

  • l20 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior: General
  • o25 - Industrial Policy
  • o32 - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
  • j24 - "Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity"


  • Firm growth
  • high-growth firms
  • human capital
  • quantile regression
  • R&D
  • firm size
  • growth rate
  • industrial development
  • innovation
  • probability
  • regression analysis
  • research and development


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