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How the Internet powers a winner-take-all economy

Foto: Colourbox

Several new pieces of research have investigated the cause of declining dynamism among U.S. businesses. The drop in the number of startups is a real concern, since new high-growth businesses are believed to be an important driver of economic expansion.

One new paper, by Massachusetts Institute of Technology economists Jorge Guzman and Scott Stern, argues that new companies are having trouble scaling up. The researchers used historical data to identify companies that are likely to grow a lot in the future -- such as where the company is registered (Delaware is best). Five out of the eight characteristics they use involve the company's name -- in the past, for example, new companies with shorter names have tended to grow more later on. Guzman and Stern find that many more companies with these telltale indicators of growth potential have been started in the last few years, but that these companies have been succeeding much less frequently than in the past...

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