Selection and Serial Entrepreneurs
This paper develops and tests a model that explains entry into serial entrepreneurship and the performance of serial entrepreneurs as the result of selection on innate ability. The model supposes that agents establish businesses with imperfect information about their entrepreneurial ability and the profitability of business ideas. Agents continually observe signals with which they update their beliefs, and this process eventually determines their next business choice. Selection on ability induces a positive correlation between entrepreneurial experience (measured by previous business earnings and founding experience) and serial business formation, as well as its subsequent performance. The predictions in the model are tested using panel data from the NLSY79. The analysis permits a distinction to be made between selection on innate ability and learning by doing.
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