New-Firm Startups, Technology, and Macroeconomic Fluctuations
New-firm startup activity is examined within a framework pooling a cross-section of 117 industries over six time periods between 1976 and 1986. A model is introduced relating startup activity both to elements of the business cycle, in particular the macroeconomic growth rate, the cost of capital, and the unemployment rate, and to industry-specific characteristics, especially the technological conditions underlying the industry. The pooled cross-section regression results suggest that macroeconomic fluctuations as well as industry-specific elements contribute to startup activity. While new-firm startups respond positively to macroeconomic growth, they are promoted by a low cost of capital and high unemployment rate. A somewhat surprising result is that new-firm startups are not apparently deterred in capital intensive industries and where R&D expenditures play an important role. The empirical results suggest that new firms may be able to overcome their inherent size and experience disadvantages in such markets through exploiting university research and pursuing innovative activity. Copyright 1994 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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