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Do Entrepreneurs Matter?

Sascha Becker () and Hans Hvide

No 7146, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: In the large literature on firm performance, economists have given little attention to entrepreneurs. We use deaths of more than 500 entrepreneurs as a source of exogenous variation, and ask whether this variation can explain shifts in firm performance. Using longitudinal data, we find large and sustained effects of entrepreneurs at all levels of the performance distribution. Entrepreneurs strongly affect firm growth patterns of both very young firms and for firms that have begun to mature. We do not find significant differences between small and larger firms, family and non-family firms, nor between firms located in urban and rural areas, but we do find stronger effects for founders with high human capital. Overall, the results suggest that an often overlooked factor – individual entrepreneurs – plays a large role in affecting firm performance.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; firm performance; human capital (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 D24 J23 L11 L25 G39 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 45 pages
Date: 2013-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cse, nep-ent, nep-hrm, nep-sbm and nep-ure
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed

Forthcoming as 'Entrepreneur Death and Startup Performance' in: Review of Finance, 2021

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Related works:
Working Paper: Do entrepreneurs matter? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Do Entrepreneurs Matter? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Do entrepreneurs matter? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Do entrepreneurs matter? (2013) Downloads
Working Paper: Do entrepreneurs matter? (2013) Downloads
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