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For example in this sentence:

Studies have shown that the benefits of environmental initiatives were actually higher for small companies than for big companies.

Is omitting the "for" in the phrase "than for" gramatically correct in extreme formal writing like below?

Studies have shown that the benefits of environmental initiatives were actually higher for small companies than big companies.

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    You can delete practically anything that's repeated in a parallel construction. Certainly prepositions. Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 16:29

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You can omit words with than, it is true, but when it gives way to ambiguities, it is better to leave words in for clarity. When you say:

...the benefits of environmental initiatives were actually higher for small companies than big companies.

it can be misunderstood as benefits were higher than big companies. Even if the symmetry of small and big companies clarifies to a certain extent which are the two elements compared, and the confusion is rather grammatical than semantic, I would still use the clearest grammatical formula. If you keep for, any confusion is eliminated. Note that after than, more words are omitted:

the benefits of environmental initiatives were actually higher for small companies than [they were] (omitted) for big companies.

This is similar to the advice given by teacher Paul Fanning in guinlist about the sentence:

Disruption was caused more by climate change than storms.

He says:

Does storms here contrast with disruption or climate change? Is the unmentioned wording were after storms (saying disruption was the main result of climate change, not storms), or it was caused by after than (saying climate change was the main cause of disruption, not storms)? Such double meanings are always a danger when than follows a verb and two nouns. The way to prevent them is to leave fewer words unmentioned. For example, adding by before storms above would solve the problem instantly.

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