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Past Experience and Future Success: New Evidence on Owner Characteristics and Firm Performance

  • Ron Jarmin
  • C.J. Krizan

Because the ability of entrepreneurs to start their own businesses is key to the success of the U.S. economy and to the economic mobility of many disadvantaged demographic groups, understanding why entrepreneurship activity varies across groups and geography is an increasingly important issue. As a step in this direction we employ a novel set of metrics of business success to the growing literature and find great variation across groups and metrics. For example, we find that black-owned firms grow slower than white or Asian-owned firms. However, once we condition on firm survival, the differences disappear. Interestingly, we also find differences across groups in their start-up histories. For example, Asian-owned firms are less likely than white-owned firms to have started-out as nonemployers but firms owned by all other minority groups, as well as women-owned firms, are more likely to start-out without employees.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 10-24.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:10-24
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  1. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  2. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the City," NBER Working Papers 13551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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