Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2212056
 
 

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Do Entrepreneurs Matter?


Sascha O. Becker


University of Warwick; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Hans K. Hvide


University of Bergen - Department of Economics; University of Aberdeen - Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

January 31, 2013

CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4088

Abstract:     
In the large literature on firm performance, economists have given little attention to entrepreneurs. We use deaths of more than 500 entrepreneurs as a source of exogenous variation, and ask whether this variation can explain shifts in firm performance. Using longitudinal data, we find large and sustained effects of entrepreneurs at all levels of the performance distribution. Entrepreneurs strongly affect firm growth patterns of both very young firms and for firms that have begun to mature. We do not find significant differences between small and larger firms, family and non-family firms, nor between firms located in urban and rural areas, but we do find stronger effects for founders with high human capital. Overall, the results suggest that an often overlooked factor - individual entrepreneurs - plays a large role in affecting firm performance.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: entrepreneurship, firm performance, human capital

JEL Classification: D210, D240, J230, L110, L250, G390

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Date posted: February 6, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Hvide, Hans K., Do Entrepreneurs Matter? (January 31, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4088. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2212056

Contact Information

Sascha O. Becker (Contact Author)
University of Warwick ( email )
Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)
Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany
HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
Ifo Institute for Economic Research
Munich
Germany
Hans Hvide
University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )
Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen
Norway
University of Aberdeen - Business School ( email )
Edward Wright Building
Dunbar Street
Aberdeen, Scotland AB24 3QY
United Kingdom
HOME PAGE: http://hans.hvide.googlepages.com/
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )
P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany
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