The Small Firm Effect and the Entrepreneurial Spawning of Scientists and Engineers
AbstractScientists and engineers in small firms are far more likely than their large firm counterparts to enter entrepreneurship. We label this phenomenon the small firm effect and explore its origins. In particular, we identify four classes of explanations for the small firm effect--preference sorting, ability sorting, opportunity cost, and the possibility that workers in small firms develop entrepreneurial human capital--and examine the empirical evidence for each. We find that preference sorting does play a role in generating the small firm effect: small firms attract those with prior preferences for autonomy who are similarly drawn into entrepreneurship. Similarly, ability sorting plays a role: those who ultimately become entrepreneurs may be drawn first to small firms because they offer tighter pay-for-performance links and can subsequently improve their expected earnings by becoming entrepreneurs, or because the skills required for success in small firms are also valuable in entrepreneurship. Evidence suggests that although those with the very least to lose do enter entrepreneurship with greater frequency, opportunity cost has at best a modest role to play in explaining the small firm effect. Finally, we interpret evidence that prior experience in small firms predicts positive performance outcomes in the early stages of entrepreneurship as suggesting that workers in small firms may develop entrepreneurial human capital that makes them better entrepreneurs. This effect may be largest among those of high ability.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.
Volume (Year): 56 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 (April)
entrepreneurship; employee mobility; human capital; small firms; spawning;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Elisabeth Bublitz & Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2013. "Balanced Skills and the City: An Analysis of the Relationship between Entrepreneurial Skill Balance, Thickness and Innovation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Wennberg, Karl & Wiklund, Johan & Wright, Mike, 2011. "The effectiveness of university knowledge spillovers: Performance differences between university spinoffs and corporate spinoffs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(8), pages 1128-1143, October.
- Dick Johannes & Hussinger Katrin & Blumberg Boris & Hagedoorn John, 2011.
"Is Success Hereditary? Evidence on the Performance of Spawned Ventures,"
034, Maastricht : METEOR, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization.
- Johannes Dick & Katrin Hussinger & Boris Blumberg & John Hagedoorn, 2013. "Is success hereditary? Evidence on the performance of spawned ventures," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 911-931, May.
- Geraldine Ryan & Bernadette Power & Noreen McCarthy & Paul Braidford, 2011. "Regional Influences oBusiness Transfers within the British Isles," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1094, European Regional Science Association.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2012.
"Entrepreneurship and Urban Growth: An Empirical Assessment with Historical Mines,"
NBER Working Papers
18333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and Urban Growth: An Empirical Assessment with Historical Mines," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-015, Harvard Business School.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Sari Pekkala Kerr & William R. Kerr, 2013. "Entrepreneurship And Urban Growth:An Empirical Assessment With Historical Mines," Working Papers 13-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Schmitt-Rodermund, Eva, 2012.
"Balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs,"
37524, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Michael Fritsch & Ronney Aamoucke, 2013. "Regional Public Research, Higher Education, and Innovative Start-ups - An Empirical Investigation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-026, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Alina Sorgner & Michael Fritsch, 2013.
"Occupational Choice and Self-Employment: Are They Related?,"
SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research
533, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Alina Sorgner & Michael Fritsch, 2013. "Occupational Choice and Self-Employment - Are They Related?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2013-001, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
- Tåg, Joacim & Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2013. "Hierarchies, the Small Firm Effect, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Swedish Microdata," Working Paper Series 954, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Henry Sauermann & Michael Roach, 2011. "Not All Scientists pay to be Scientists:," DRUID Working Papers 11-03, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
- Rider, Christopher I. & Thompson, Peter & Kacperczyk, Aleksandra & Tåg, Joacim, 2013. "Experience and Entrepreneurship," Working Paper Series 970, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
- Åstebro, Thomas & Bazzazian, Navid & Braguinsky, Serguey, 2012. "Startups by recent university graduates and their faculty: Implications for university entrepreneurship policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 663-677.
- repec:dgr:uvatin:2011066 is not listed on IDEAS
- Christian Cordes & Peter J. Richerson & Georg Schwesinger, 2011. "A Corporation's Culture as an Impetus for Spinoffs and a Driving Force of Industry Evolution," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2011-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Evolutionary Economics Group.
- Lööf, Hans & Nabavi, Pardis, 2012. "Exporters, Spin-outs and Firm Performance," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 262, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
- Jose Maria Millan & Emilio Congregado & Concepcion Roman & Mirjam van Praag & Andre van Stel, 2011.
"The Value of an Educated Population for an Individual's Entrepreneurship Success,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
11-066/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- André van Stel & Mirjam van Praag & José Maria Millán & Emilio Congregado & Concepcion Roman, 2013. "The value of an educated population for an individual's entrepreneurship success," Scales Research Reports H201103, EIM Business and Policy Research.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.