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Who says life is over after 55? Entrepreneurship and an aging population

  • Backman, Mikaela


    (Centre for Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics, Jönköping International Business School)

  • Karlsson, Charlie


    (Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies (CESIS ), Jönköping International Business School)

Several studies confirm a positive inverted U-shaped relationship between age and entrepreneurship. This paper analyses if this statement is true also for Sweden. By focusing on those above the age of 50, this paper adds knowledge about how individuals close to their retirement act in terms of self-employment and to what extent they contribute as entrepreneurs to the overall society. First, it analyses at the regional level the propensity of older people to start firms with a focus on the relationship between different age cohorts and the rate of new firm formation. At the second stage, an individual perspective is taken where the probability to become self-employed is expected to increase as individuals be¬come older but at a decreasing rate. By decomposing the population in different age cohorts, it is possible to find differences in the probability of becoming self-employed. To increase and deepen the knowledge about the relationship between age and entrepreneurship this paper further adds to existing literature by separating regions into different categories along the urban-rural hierarchy. The results in this paper confirm that the rate of entrepreneurship first increases and then decreases with age. Individuals above both 55 and 64 have a positive influence on the rate of entrepreneurship at both the regional as well as the individual level. The impact is stronger in locations that are more rural.

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Paper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 325.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0325
Contact details of provider: Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
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