Learning from Feedback: Evidence from New Ventures
86 Pages Posted: 5 Oct 2017 Last revised: 26 May 2020
Date Written: May 5, 2020
This paper studies how early stage entrepreneurs respond to negative feedback about the quality of their ventures using data from new venture competitions. In some competitions, founders are privately informed of their relative rank but did not know there would be feedback ex-ante. The empirical strategy compares lower and higher ranked losers across competitions in which they did and did not observe their standing. Receiving negative feedback increases average venture abandonment by 13 percent. Differences in responsiveness – for example, in venture risk, venture maturity, and signal precision – are consistent with particular theories about entrepreneurship, including the importance of experimentation.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Learning
JEL Classification: G24, G4, L1, L2, L26, O3
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