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Skilled Human Capital and High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Inventor Inflows

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  • Benjamin Balsmeier
  • Lee Fleming
  • Matt Marx
  • Seungryul Ryan Shin

Abstract

To what extent does high-growth entrepreneurship depend on skilled human capital? We estimate the impact of the inflow of inventors into a region on the founding of high-growth firms, instrumenting mobility with the county-level share of millions of inventor surnames in the 1940 U.S. Census. Inventor immigration increases county-level high-growth entrepreneurship; estimates range from 29-55 immigrating inventors for each new high-growth firm, depending on the region and model. We also find a smaller but significant negative effect of inventor arrival on entrepreneurship in nearby counties.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Balsmeier & Lee Fleming & Matt Marx & Seungryul Ryan Shin, 2020. "Skilled Human Capital and High-Growth Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Inventor Inflows," NBER Working Papers 27605, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27605
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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