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Analysis of Young Small Firms That Have Closed: Delineating Successful from Unsuccessful Closures

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  • Timothy Bates

Abstract

This study of small businesses created between 1989 and 1992, and then closed down between 1993 and 1996, reveals that owners often described their firms as “successful” when the disclosure decision was made. . Theoretical explanations consistent with this pattern are explored in this study. One view describes successful closures as rational outcomes of learning processes undertaken by entrepreneurs opening firms amidst considerable uncertainty. Another approach sees the seeming paradox of successful closure in terms of alternative opportunities: if something better comes along, the entrepreneur may close down. Empirically, successful closure owners are found to be moving on to more attractive alternatives.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2002/CES-WP-02-24.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 02-24.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-24

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Keywords: CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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  1. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  2. Frank, Murray Z, 1988. "An Intertemporal Model of Industrial Exit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 333-44, May.
  3. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
  4. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  5. Ronstadt, Robert, 1986. "Exit, stage left why entrepreneurs end their entrepreneurial careers before retirement," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 323-338.
  6. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
  7. Boden, Richard Jr., 1996. "Gender and self-employment selection: An empirical assessment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 671-682.
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