Entrepreneurship Among Baby Boomers: Recent Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study
58 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2017
Date Written: September 30, 2016
We study entrepreneurship among Baby Boomers using data from the US Health and Retirement Study (HRS). Using two different definitions of entrepreneurship (being self-employed and being a business owner), we compare entrepreneurs to non-entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs who were age 52–65 in the 2012 HRS to their counterparts (i.e., those age 52–65) in the 1998 HRS. We find that entrepreneurs are systematically different from the rest of the population; specifically, they are more highly educated, healthier, wealthier, and more likely to be white and male. When we compare the cohort of Baby Boomer entrepreneurs surveyed in 2012 to entrepreneurs in the same age range in 1998, we find that Baby Boomer entrepreneurs are older, are less likely to be white, have a higher level of education, have fewer children and grandchildren, and are in poorer physical health. Finally, using partial identification methods, we find some evidence for a positive causal impact of wealth on business ownership, but only for the highest levels of wealth.
Keywords: entrepreneurship; baby boomers
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation