Personal Preferences, Entrepreneurs’ Location Choices, and Firm Performance

Management Science, 62(6): 1814-1829.

31 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2015 Last revised: 31 Aug 2016

See all articles by Elena Kulchina

Elena Kulchina

Duke University; North Carolina State University; Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

Date Written: February 1, 2015


While early location work established the role of economic factors in entrepreneurs’ location choices, recent studies suggest personal reasons as another factor. However, since the places where entrepreneurs want to live are often the places where they will likely do well, it is difficult to empirically separate the two mechanisms. We focus on entrepreneurs founding firms abroad, allowing us to more effectively isolate the effect of personal location attractiveness. We leverage entrepreneurs’ decisions to relocate and manage their firms personally or to remain in a home country and hire a manager. We find that entrepreneurs who view a host country as an attractive location are more likely to relocate and manage their firms personally. However, such entrepreneur-managers have lower firm performance. These results are consistent with the idea that entrepreneurs are more likely to locate in personally attractive places and are willing to substitute benefits of living there for some firm profit.

Keywords: location choice, location attractiveness, nonpecuniary benefits, foreign entrepreneurs, owner-manager

JEL Classification: M1, M3, F22, F23

Suggested Citation

Kulchina, Elena and Kulchina, Elena, Personal Preferences, Entrepreneurs’ Location Choices, and Firm Performance (February 1, 2015). Management Science, 62(6): 1814-1829., Available at SSRN:

Elena Kulchina (Contact Author)

Duke University ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

North Carolina State University ( email )

Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27695
United States

Duke Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative

215 Morris St., Suite 300
Durham, NC 27701
United States

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