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Analysis of Young Small Firms That Have Closed: Delineating Successful from Unsuccessful Closures

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  • Timothy Bates

Abstract

This study of small businesses created between 1989 and 1992, and then closed down between 1993 and 1996, reveals that owners often described their firms as “successful” when the disclosure decision was made. . Theoretical explanations consistent with this pattern are explored in this study. One view describes successful closures as rational outcomes of learning processes undertaken by entrepreneurs opening firms amidst considerable uncertainty. Another approach sees the seeming paradox of successful closure in terms of alternative opportunities: if something better comes along, the entrepreneur may close down. Empirically, successful closure owners are found to be moving on to more attractive alternatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Bates, 2002. "Analysis of Young Small Firms That Have Closed: Delineating Successful from Unsuccessful Closures," Working Papers 02-24, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:02-24
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2002/CES-WP-02-24.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    3. Murray Z. Frank, 1988. "An Intertemporal Model of Industrial Exit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(2), pages 333-344.
    4. Ronstadt, Robert, 1986. "Exit, stage left why entrepreneurs end their entrepreneurial careers before retirement," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 323-338.
    5. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
    6. Richard E. Caves, 1998. "Industrial Organization and New Findings on the Turnover and Mobility of Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(4), pages 1947-1982, December.
    7. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-559, November.
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    Keywords

    CES; economic; research; micro; data; microdata; chief; economist;

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