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Taking the Leap: The Determinants of Entrepreneurs Hiring their First Employee

Listed author(s):
  • Robert W. Fairlie
  • Javier Miranda

Job creation is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, but we know relatively little about the hiring patterns and decisions of startups. Longitudinal data from the Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (iLBD), Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), and the Growing America through Entrepreneurship (GATE) experiment are used to provide some of the first evidence in the literature on the determinants of taking the leap from a non-employer to employer firm among startups. Several interesting patterns emerge regarding the dynamics of non-employer startups hiring their first employee. Hiring rates among the universe of non-employer startups are very low, but increase when the population of non-employers is focused on more growth-oriented businesses such as incorporated and EIN businesses. If non-employer startups hire, the bulk of hiring occurs in the first few years of existence. After this point in time relatively few non-employer startups hire an employee. Focusing on more growth- and employment-oriented startups in the KFS, we find that Asian-owned and Hispanic-owned startups have higher rates of hiring their first employee than white-owned startups. Female-owned startups are roughly 10 percentage points less likely to hire their first employee by the first, second and seventh years after startup. The education level of the owner, however, is not found to be associated with the probability of hiring an employee. Among business characteristics, we find evidence that business assets and intellectual property are associated with hiring the first employee. Using data from the largest random experiment providing entrepreneurship training in the United States ever conducted, we do not find evidence that entrepreneurship training increases the likelihood that non-employers hire their first employee.

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File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2016/CES-WP-16-48.pdf
File Function: First version, 2016
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 16-48.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2016
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:16-48
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  1. Andrew Henley, 2005. "Job Creation by the Self-employed: The Roles of Entrepreneurial and Financial Capital," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 175-196, September.
  2. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia Robb, 2007. "Families, Human Capital, and Small Business: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(2), pages 225-245, January.
  3. Jeanne Bellotti & Sheena McConnell & Jacob Benus, "undated". "Growing America Through Entrepreneurship," Mathematica Policy Research Reports d3bbbcef77fe49cb988c23d84, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Robert W. Fairlie & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2015. "Behind the GATE Experiment: Evidence on Effects of and Rationales for Subsidized Entrepreneurship Training," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 125-161, May.
  5. Falck, Oliver & Gold, Robert & Heblich, Stephan, . "Entrepreneurship education," Chapters in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  6. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2007. "Why Are Black-Owned Businesses Less Successful than White-Owned Businesses? The Role of Families, Inheritances, and Business Human Capital," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 289-323.
  7. Robert W. Fairlie & Alicia M. Robb, 2008. "Race and Entrepreneurial Success: Black-, Asian-, and White-Owned Businesses in the United States," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026206281x, January.
  8. repec:mpr:mprres:5716 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Monica Garcia-Perez & Christopher Goetz & John Haltiwanger & Kristin Sandusky, 2013. "Don't Quit Your Day Job: Using Wage and Salary Earnings to Support a New Business," Working Papers 13-45, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. Janice Ballou & Tom Barton & David DesRoches & Frank Potter & E.J. Reedy & Alicia Robb & Scott Shane & Zhanyun Zhao, "undated". "Kauffman Firm Survey: Results from the Baseline and First Follow-Up Surveys," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4a8c01fa02f24e7aada8b68dd, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. Robert W. Fairlie & Harry A. Krashinsky, 2012. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, And Entrepreneurship Revisited," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 58(2), pages 279-306, June.
  12. repec:mpr:mprres:5464 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899604, December.
  14. Cole, Rebel, 2011. "How do firms choose legal form of organization?," MPRA Paper 32591, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. Marc Cowling & Mark Taylor & Peter Mitchell, 2004. "Job Creators," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 72(5), pages 601-617, September.
  16. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2002. "Self-Employment Wealth and Job Creation: The Roles of Gender, Non-pecuniary Motivation and Entrepreneurial Ability," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 255-270, November.
  17. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger & Ronald S. Jarmin & C.J. Krizan & Javier Miranda & Alfred Nucci & Kristin Sandusky, 2009. "Measuring the Dynamics of Young and Small Businesses: Integrating the Employer and Nonemployer Universes," NBER Chapters,in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 329-366 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Parker,Simon C., 2009. "The Economics of Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521728355, December.
  19. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2000. " When Less Is More: Distinguishing between Entrepreneurial Choice and Performance," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(5), pages 565-587, December.
  20. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
  21. John Haltiwanger & Ron S. Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2013. "Who Creates Jobs? Small versus Large versus Young," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(2), pages 347-361, May.
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