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The Personal Computer and Entrepreneurship

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  • Fairlie, Robert

Abstract

In contrast to the large and rapidly growing literature on 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, 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 an entrepreneur 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

  • Fairlie, Robert, 2014. "The Personal Computer and Entrepreneurship," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0nm6x99w, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:ucscec:qt0nm6x99w
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    Cited by:

    1. Viktor Slavtchev & Devrim Göktepe-Hultén, 2016. "Support for public research spin-offs by the parent organizations and the speed of commercialization," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1507-1525, December.
    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. 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).
    4. 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.
    5. Parker, Simon C., 2011. "Intrapreneurship or entrepreneurship?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 19-34, January.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:wsi:jecxxx:v:24:y:2016:i:04:n:s0218495816500151 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9793-y is not listed on IDEAS

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    Keywords

    Business; Social and Behavioral Sciences; entrepreneurship; ICT; computers; technology; business creation; self-employment;

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