Nebraska Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit


Date of this Version



Published in Environment and Development Economics 11: 533–551


This paper applies recent advances in ecology to our understanding of firm development, sustainability, and economic development. The ecological literature indicates that the greater the functional richness of species in a system, the greater its resilience – that is, its ability to persist in the face of substantial changes in the environment. This paper focuses on the effects of functional richness across firm size on the ability of industries to survive in the face of economic change. Our results indicate that industries with a richness of industrial functions are more resilient to employment volatility.