Michael S. Dahl
University of Aarhus - School of Business and Social Sciences
Mirjam van Praag
University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Copenhagen Business School; Tinbergen Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics
Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business
We study possible motivations for co-entrepreneurial couples to start up a joint firm, using a sample of 1,069 Danish couples that established a joint enterprise between 2001 and 2010. We compare their pre-entry characteristics, firm performance and post-dissolution private and financial outcomes with a selected set of comparable firms and couples. We find evidence that couples often establish a business together because one spouse – most commonly the female – has limited outside opportunities in the labor market. However, the financial benefits for each of the spouses, and especially the female, are larger in co-entrepreneurial firms, both during the life of the business and post-dissolution. The start-up of co-entrepreneurial firms seems therefore a sound investment in the human capital of both spouses as well as in the reduction of income inequality in the household. We find no evidence of non-pecuniary benefits or costs of co-entrepreneurship.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, motives, performance, couples, co-entrepreneurship.
JEL Classification: J12, L26
Date posted: April 5, 2014