Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Economic Development Quarterly

Research Center

Center for Economic Development


In this study, the 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. Only 1.2% of all Ohio’s 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 cluster. The nongazelle HGF cluster has proportionately more businesses in manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality industries than the gazelle clusters.

Original Citation

Piazza, M. C., & Hill, E. (Ned). (2021). Not All High-Growth Firms Are Alike: Capturing and Tagging Ohio’s Gazelles. Economic Development Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1177/08912424211023556