Serial Entrepreneurs and the Macroeconomy

CEPR Discussion Papers, Forthcoming

Posted: 10 Sep 2021

See all articles by Sudipto Karmakar

Sudipto Karmakar

Bank of England

Petr Sedlacek

University of Oxford

Sónia Félix

Nova School of Business and Economics

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Date Written: August 11, 2021


There are enormous differences across firms and their impact on the macroeconomy. Using unique administrative data from Portugal, enabling us to link companies to their owners, we show that firms owned by serial entrepreneurs (owners of multiple businesses) enjoy a "premium" along many dimensions. Serial entrepreneur firms are significantly larger, more productive, less likely to shut down, grow faster and contribute disproportionately to aggregate job creation and productivity growth compared to other businesses. These differences are already apparent among the very first businesses of serial entrepreneurs, suggesting that they are the result of entrepreneurial selection, rather than learning. Finally, we document that individual characteristics of business owners, especially schooling and past wages, can partly explain the "serial entrepreneur premium''. Our results, therefore, highlight the importance of ex-ante firm heterogeneity for macroeconomic outcomes and point towards entrepreneurs as an important source of such heterogeneity.

Keywords: Serial entrepreneurship, firm dynamics, productivity, heterogeneity

Suggested Citation

Karmakar, Sudipto and Sedlacek, Petr and Félix, Sónia, Serial Entrepreneurs and the Macroeconomy (August 11, 2021). CEPR Discussion Papers, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Sudipto Karmakar (Contact Author)

Bank of England ( email )

Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH
United Kingdom

Petr Sedlacek

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Sónia Félix

Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Carcavelos
Rua da Holanda, 1
Carcavelos, 2775-405

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