Empirical work studying the industry life cycle highlights the role of knowledge in various forms on the durations firms survive in the industry. This research leaves open the influence of historical events, which are reflected in macroeconomic factors like income, inflation, exports and interest rates on the industry life cycle. In this paper we investigate the relationship between the macroeconomic conditions and firm survival in the German automobile industry during the period 1886-1939. The results reveal that the macroeconomic conditions influence firm survival in addition to the knowledge variables traditionally considered and substantially contribute to explanatory power.
firm survival macroeconomic factors automobile industry