Do Entrepreneurs Matter?

66 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2013 Last revised: 22 May 2017

See all articles by Sascha O. Becker

Sascha O. Becker

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

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 18, 2017

Abstract

What are the most critical factors for the growth and survival of nascent firm? We use deaths of several hundred entrepreneurs as a source of exogenous variation of entrepreneur engagement, and find large and sustained effects of entrepreneurs at all levels of the firm performance and firm size distribution. The mean effect on sales and assets is about 50 percent. We find large effects of entrepreneur death until the startup is about seven years old. The effects appear to be driven by entrepreneur specialness rather than leadership transition; the effects of death of entrepreneur-managers is economically and statistically stronger than the death of managers that are not entrepreneurs.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, firm performance, human capital

JEL Classification: D21, D24, J23, L11, L25, G39

Suggested Citation

Becker, Sascha O. and Hvide, Hans, Do Entrepreneurs Matter? (May 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199645 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2199645

Sascha O. Becker

University of Warwick ( email )

Gibbet Hill Rd.
Coventry, West Midlands CV4 8UW
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://sobecker.de

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ifo Institute for Economic Research

Munich
Germany

Hans Hvide (Contact Author)

University of Bergen - Department of Economics ( email )

Fosswinckelsgt. 6
N-5007 Bergen, 5007
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)

London
United Kingdom

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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