• C23;
  • L11;
  • Q13
  • EU dairy processing industry;
  • Dynamic panel data;
  • Firm growth


The structure of the dairy processing industry in the European Union has changed enormously in recent decades. In many countries, the industry is characterized by a few large companies with a big market share accompanied by many small processors that often produce for niche markets. This article investigates which factors relate to growth of dairy processing firms. Using a unique 10-year panel data set and recently developed dynamic panel data estimators, the growth process of dairy processors is investigated for six rather diverse European countries. The data structure and the estimation method allow for dealing with endogeneity issues in an appropriate way. Firm size growth measured in total assets is found to be affected by firm size, firm age, and financial variables. Growth in number of employees is only affected by firm age and lagged labor productivity. Implications for these results are given in the final section of the article.