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Hierarchies, the Small Firm Effect, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Swedish Microdata

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Author Info

  • Tåg, Joacim

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Åstebro, Thomas

    (HEC Paris)

  • Thompson, Peter

    (Goizueta Business School)

Abstract

We explore whether the tendency for smaller firms to have fewer hierarchical layers explains the well-documented inverse correlation between firm size and the rate at which employees become business owners. Our analysis is based on a Swedish matched employer-employee dataset. Conditional on firm size, employees in firms with more layers are less likely to enter entrepreneurship, to become self-employed, and to switch to another employer. The effects of layers are much stronger for business creation than for jobswitching and they are stronger for entrepreneurship than for self-employment. However, hierarchies constitute only a partial explanation of the small firm effect. Potential explanations for the effects of layers are examined. Part of the effect appears to be due to preference sorting by employees, and part due to employees in firms with fewer layers having a broader range of skills.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 954.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 13 Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0954

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Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
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Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Employee mobility; Hierarchy; Rank; Small firm effect;

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  1. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Barton H. Hamilton & Todd R. Zenger, 2010. "The Small Firm Effect and the Entrepreneurial Spawning of Scientists and Engineers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 659-681, April.
  2. Frederiksen, Anders, 2008. "Gender differences in job separation rates and employment stability: New evidence from employer-employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 915-937, October.
  3. Bruno Frey & Matthias Benz, 2003. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," CESifo Working Paper Series 959, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  5. Andersson, Martin & Klepper, Steven, 2012. "Characteristics and Performance of New Firms and Spinoffs in Sweden," Working Paper Series 902, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  6. Thomas Åstebro & Jing Chen & Peter Thompson, 2011. "Stars and Misfits: Self-Employment and Labor Market Frictions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(11), pages 1999-2017, November.
  7. Caliendo, Lorenzo & Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban, 2011. "The Impact of Trade on Organization and Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8535, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  9. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2010. "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young," Working Papers 10-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Lorenzo Caliendo & Ferdinando Monte & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2012. "The Anatomy of French Production Hierarchies," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1867, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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  12. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner & David Scharfstein, 2005. "Entrepreneurial Spawning: Public Corporations and the Genesis of New Ventures, 1986 to 1999," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 577-614, 04.
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Cited by:
  1. Henrekson, Magnus & Sanandaji, Tino, 2013. "Small Business Activity Does not Measure Entrepreneurship," Working Paper Series 959, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 26 Jan 2014.

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