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Entrepreneurship, human capital, and labor demand: a story of signaling and matching

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  • Elisabeth Bublitz
  • Kristian Nielsen
  • Florian Noseleit
  • Bram Timmermans

Abstract

In contrast to employee qualifications, there is no clear evidence that entrepreneurs’ qualifications positively affect their income. In this study we propose that entrepreneurs can benefit from using their qualification as a signal during the process of recruiting employees. This is assumed to follow a process of matching equals among equals. We confirm a matching of qualification levels for highly skilled employees in Denmark, and an indication of this in Germany. Partial support for matching among medium-skilled employees was only found in Germany, with no consistent evidence of matching for low-skilled employees in neither country. This suggests that as skill levels of employees decrease, their probabilities of working for different founders converge. Founders’ qualifications are the most reliable predictor of recruitment choices over time. Our findings are robust to numerous control variables as well as across industries and firm age.

Suggested Citation

  • Elisabeth Bublitz & Kristian Nielsen & Florian Noseleit & Bram Timmermans, 2018. "Entrepreneurship, human capital, and labor demand: a story of signaling and matching," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(2), pages 269-287.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:27:y:2018:i:2:p:269-287.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Krieger, Alexander & Block, Joern & Stuetzer, Michael, 2018. "Skill variety in entrepreneurship: A literature review and research directions," MPRA Paper 88389, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Bellmann, Lisa & Brixy, Udo, 2018. "Hiring by start-ups and regional labor supply," IAB Discussion Paper 201818, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    4. Knutsson, Polina, 2018. "Sorting on Unobserved Skills into New Firms," Working Papers 2018:38, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    5. Alex Coad & Kristian Nielsen & Bram Timmermans, 2017. "My first employee: an empirical investigation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 25-45, January.
    6. Kun Fu & Anne-Sophie Larsson & Karl Wennberg, 2018. "Habitual entrepreneurs in the making: how labour market rigidity and employment affects entrepreneurial re-entry," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 465-482, August.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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