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Dr. Merissa Piazza Publishes “Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles”

Dr. Merissa C. Piazza, Program Manager in Levin’s Center for Economic Development, and co-author Edward (Ned) W. Hill, of The Ohio State University and former dean of the Levin College, have published an article, “Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles” in Economic Development Quarterly. In this study, they present a statistically valid typology of high-growth firms (HGFs), also known as gazelles, to determine if payroll and job growth patterns differ between groups or clusters. Cluster–discriminant analysis was conducted on a cohort of 26,104 HGFs s in Ohio, using data from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages from 2010 to 2015. According to the authors, only 1.2% of all Ohio firms can be classified as high growth. The larger herd of gazelles grows consistently, while the other much smaller pack experiences short, intense growth spurts. Roughly 30% of the two gazelle clusters (Consistent High Growth and Volatile High Growth) are in the information service, financial service, and professional and business service industries, compared with 18% in the low- and slow-growth clusters. The authors found the nongazelle HGF cluster has proportionately more businesses in manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality industries than the gazelle clusters. The Center for Economic Development has served as a designated Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center since 1985.