Entrepreneurship and Market Size: The Case of Young College Graduates in Italy
39 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2011
Date Written: September 18, 2010
We analyse empirically the effects of urbanization on Italian college graduates' work possibilities as entrepreneurs three years after graduation. We find that doubling the population density of the province of work reduces the chances of being an entrepreneur by 2-3 percentage points. This result holds after controlling for regional fixed effects and is robust to instrumenting urbanization. Provincial competition, urban amenities and disamenities, cost of labour, earning differentials between employees and self-employed workers, unemployment rates and value added per capita account for more than half of the negative urbanization penalty. Our result cannot be explained by the presence of negative differentials in returns to entrepreneurship between the most and the least densely populated areas either. In fact, as long as they succeed in entering the most densely populated markets, young entrepreneurs are able to reap the benefits of urbanization externalities: doubling the population density of the province of work increases entrepreneurs' net monthly earnings by 2-3 per cent.
Keywords: Labour Market Transitions, Urbanization
JEL Classification: R12, J24, J21
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