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Why do small firms produce the entrepreneurs?

  • Parker, Simon C

Employees are significantly more likely to quit small rather than large firms to found new ventures. I examine empirically three alternative theories that might explain this finding: a transmission theory; a blocked mobility theory; and self-selection of workers. A representative sample of British panel data containing information on workplace, job and personal characteristics from 1991 to 2003 are used to explore the relationship between firm size and transitions into self-employment. The transmission and blocked mobility theories do not receive consistent empirical backing whereas the selection theory does. The implications of these findings for researchers and policy-makers are discussed.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics).

Volume (Year): 38 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 484-494

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Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:38:y:2009:i:3:p:484-494
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175

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  1. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, 05.
  2. Leontaridi, Marianthi Rannia, 1998. " Segmented Labour Markets: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 63-101, February.
  3. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  4. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2007:i:10:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Hyytinen, Ari & Maliranta, Mika, 2006. "When Do Employees Leave Their Job for Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Discussion Papers 1023, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  6. 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.
  7. Erol Taymaz, 2005. "Are Small Firms Really Less Productive?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 429-445, December.
  8. Naomi E. Feldman & Joel Slemrod, 2007. "Estimating tax noncompliance with evidence from unaudited tax returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(518), pages 327-352, 03.
  9. Rebecca Henderson, 1993. "Underinvestment and Incompetence as Responses to Radical Innovation: Evidence from the Photolithographic Alignment Equipment Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 24(2), pages 248-270, Summer.
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  11. James O. Fiet, 2007. "A Prescriptive Analysis of Search and Discovery," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(4), pages 592-611, 06.
  12. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
  13. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Are Young and Small Firms Hothouses for Nascent Entrepreneurs? Evidence from German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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