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The Value of Entrepreneurial Failures: Task Allocation and Career Concerns


  • Canidio, Andrea
  • Legros, Patrick


The task assignment that maximizes present expected output is not necessarily the most informative about an agent's comparative advantage at different tasks. Entrepreneurs are free to choose their task assignment-workers in firms are not. When labor market frictions are low, any surplus generated by a more informative task as- signment is captured by the worker, and firms maximize present expected output in their task assignment. Hence, agents may choose entrepreneurship to learn their comparative advantage. The opposite holds when labor market frictions are large. The model establishes a causal relation between the degree of labor market frictions, the value of entrepreneurial failures, the level of entrepreneurial activity, the degree of firms' short-termism, and the rate of within-firm talent discovery. The theoretical correlations between these variables are consistent with the evidence available for the US and continental Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Canidio, Andrea & Legros, Patrick, 2016. "The Value of Entrepreneurial Failures: Task Allocation and Career Concerns," CEPR Discussion Papers 11295, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:11295

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    Cited by:

    1. Schumacher Heiner & Gerling Kerstin & Kowalik Michal, 2015. "Entrepreneurial Risk Choice and Credit Market Equilibria," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 15(3), pages 1455-1480, July.

    More about this item


    career concerns.; entrepreneurial failures; entrepreneurship; learning; organizational choice; task allocation;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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