Steve Jobs or No Jobs? Entrepreneurial Activity and Performance Among Danish College Dropouts and Graduates

21 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2016

See all articles by Guido Buenstorf

Guido Buenstorf

University of Kassel - Economics; University of Kassel - International Centre for Research on Higher Education; Göteborg University

Kristian Nielsen

Aalborg University - Department of Business and Management

Bram Timmermans

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH); Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management

Date Written: July 7, 2016

Abstract

Are college dropouts successful entrepreneurs? Other than anecdotal evidence on illustrious college dropouts who managed to become self-made billionaires, there is only limited empirical evidence to answer this question. This paper addresses this issue by investigating the relationship between college dropout or graduation and entrepreneurship activity as well as performance. Using information from the Danish labor market register, we identify college students, whether these students graduate, and if they registered a new venture. We find that a larger share of dropouts starts a business, but this reflects the endogeneity of the decision to exit from college. On average, becoming an entrepreneur does not allow dropouts to escape from their punishment in the labor market.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, higher education, college dropouts, returns to entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: L26, I29

Suggested Citation

Buenstorf, Guido and Nielsen, Kristian and Timmermans, Bram, Steve Jobs or No Jobs? Entrepreneurial Activity and Performance Among Danish College Dropouts and Graduates (July 7, 2016). Small Business Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2806880

Guido Buenstorf (Contact Author)

University of Kassel - Economics ( email )

Nora-Platiel Str. 4
34109 Kassel
Germany

University of Kassel - International Centre for Research on Higher Education ( email )

D-34109, Kassel
Germany

Göteborg University ( email )

Viktoriagatan 30
Göteborg, 405 30
Sweden

Kristian Nielsen

Aalborg University - Department of Business and Management ( email )

Aalborg, DK-9220
Denmark
+45 99408334 (Phone)

Bram Timmermans

Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Aalborg University, Department of Business and Management

Fibigerstræde 4
Aalborg, DK-9220
Denmark

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