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New venture survival and growth: does the fog lift?

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Author Info

  • Alex Coad

    ()
    (University of Sussex)

  • David J Storey

    ()
    (University of Sussex)

  • Richard G Roberts
  • Julian S Frankish

Abstract

Does our ability to predict the performance of new ventures improve in the years after start-up? We investigate the growth and survival of 6247 new ventures that are tracked using the customer records at Barclays Bank. We put forward Gambler’s Ruin as a simple theory for understanding new venture growth and survival. Gambler’s Ruin predicts that the R2 remains low for growth rate regressions, but that the R2 increases in the years since start-up for survival regressions. The Nagelkerke R2 obtained from growth rate regressions decreases significantly in the years after start-up, which suggests that the fog gets thicker with respect to growth. When we focus only on firms surviving until the end of the period, however, there is no visible change in the R2 over time. In contrast, the Nagelkerke R2 of survival regressions increases in the years after start-up. Interestingly, a blip in year 5 suggests that macro-economic factors may have a strong effect on the amount of ‘fog’.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/36.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2013-36

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Related research

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; firm growth; survival; exit probability; coefficient of determination; selection environment; Gambler’s Ruin theory; Strategic Entrepreneurship; cohort study;

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References

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  1. Yang, Tiantian & Aldrich, Howard E., 2012. "Out of sight but not out of mind: Why failure to account for left truncation biases research on failure rates," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 477-492.
  2. P.A. Geroski & José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2003. "Founding Conditions and the Survival of New Firms," Working Papers w200301, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  3. Jerker Denrell, 2004. "Random Walks and Sustained Competitive Advantage," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(7), pages 922-934, July.
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  5. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-70, September.
  6. Francesca Lotti & Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2009. "Defending Gibrat’s Law as a long-run regularity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 31-44, January.
  7. Mark Casson & Nigel Wadeson, 2007. "The Discovery of Opportunities: Extending the Economic Theory of the Entrepreneur," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(4), pages 285-300, April.
  8. Coad, Alex & Frankish, Julian & Roberts, Richard G. & Storey, David J., 2013. "Growth paths and survival chances: An application of Gambler's Ruin theory," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 615-632.
  9. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
  10. Christian Lechner & Michael Dowling, 2003. "Firm networks: external relationships as sources for the growth and competitiveness of entrepreneurial firms," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, January.
  11. James S. Foreman-Peck, 1985. "Seedcorn or Chaff? New Firm Formation and the Performance of the Interwar Economy," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 38(3), pages 402-422, 08.
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