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The Personal Computer and Entrepreneurship

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  • Robert W. Fairlie

    (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Cruz, California 95060)

Abstract

In contrast to the large and rapidly growing literature on information technology (IT) investments and firm productivity, we know very little about the role of personal computers in business creation. Using matched data from the 1997-2001 Computer and Internet Usage Supplements to subsequent Outgoing Rotation Group files from the Current Population Survey (CPS), I explore the relationship between computer ownership and entrepreneurship. Trends over the past two decades provide some evidence of a positive relationship between home computers and entrepreneurship rates, but the evidence is not clear. In contrast, an analysis of the relationship between computer ownership and entrepreneurship at the individual level provides evidence that individuals who had access to a home computer are substantially more likely to become entrepreneurs over the following 12-15 months. Probit and bivariate probit regressions also provide evidence of a strong positive relationship between computer ownership and entrepreneurship among women, but only limited evidence for men. Further, estimates from the CPS indicate that entrepreneurs who had prior access to home computers create a large variety of types of businesses and not only those in the IT industry.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert W. Fairlie, 2006. "The Personal Computer and Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(2), pages 187-203, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:2:p:187-203
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1050.0479
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    2. Grazzi, Matteo & Vergara, Sebastián, 2012. "ICT in developing countries: Are language barriers relevant? Evidence from Paraguay," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 161-171.
    3. Zhao, Jianmei, 2018. "Internet access and rural household income in China," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274178, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    4. Parker, Simon C., 2011. "Intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, January.
    5. Gordon Burtch & Seth Carnahan & Brad N. Greenwood, 2018. "Can You Gig It? An Empirical Examination of the Gig Economy and Entrepreneurial Activity," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(12), pages 5497-5520, December.
    6. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Ludger Wößmann, 2011. "Surfing Alone? The Internet and Social Capital: Evidence from an Unforeseen Technological Mistake," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 392, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Eckhardt, Jonathan T. & Shane, Scott A., 2011. "Industry changes in technology and complementary assets and the creation of high-growth firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 412-430, July.
    8. Bauernschuster, Stefan & Falck, Oliver & Woessmann, Ludger, 2014. "Surfing alone? The internet and social capital: Evidence from an unforeseeable technological mistake," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 73-89.
    9. Muhammad Naveed Anwar & Elizabeth M. Daniel, 2017. "Ethnic entrepreneurs and online home-based businesses: an exploratory study," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 7(1), pages 1-21, December.
    10. Muhammad Naveed Anwar & Elizabeth Daniel, 2016. "The Role of Entrepreneur-Venture Fit in Online Home-Based Entrepreneurship: A Systematic Literature Review," Journal of Enterprising Culture (JEC), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 24(04), pages 419-451, December.
    11. Ndubuisi, Gideon & Otioma, Chuks & Tetteh, Godsway Korku, 2021. "Digital infrastructure and employment in services: Evidence from Sub-Saharan African countries," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(8).
    12. Takanori Adachi & Takanori Hisada, 2017. "Gender differences in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship: an empirical analysis," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(3), pages 447-486, March.
    13. Ratinho, Tiago & Amezcua, Alejandro & Honig, Benson & Zeng, Zhaocheng, 2020. "Supporting entrepreneurs: A systematic review of literature and an agenda for research," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 154(C).
    14. Kai-Lung Hui & I. P. L. Png, 2015. "Research Note—Migration of Service to the Internet: Evidence from a Federal Natural Experiment," Information Systems Research, INFORMS, vol. 26(3), pages 606-618, September.
    15. Peng, Y. & Turvey, C. & Kong, R., 2018. "An Analysis of China s Reforms on Mortgaging and Transacting Rural Land Use Rights and Entrepreneurial Activity," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277308, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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