Prior studies have defined high-growth firms (HGFs) in terms of sales or employment, and analyzed their contribution to employment growth. We define HGFs by employment and sales and add definitions of value added and productivity. We examine the contribution of HGFs to employment growth, economic growth, productivity growth, and sales growth. All HGFs give a disproportionately large positive contribution to economic growth and most also give large positive contributions to growth in employment, productivity and sales. Although HGFs of different definitions are usually not the same firms, young firms are more likely to be HGFs irrespective of definition.The paper is by Sven-Olov Daunfeldt,Niklas Elerta, and Dan Johansson, and is focused on Sweden. The results seem comparable across countries however.
"The economic contribution of high-growth firms: Do definitions matter?" (PDF)