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Entrepreneurial Tail Risk: Implications for Employment Dynamics

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  • Thorsten Drautzburg

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

Starting a new business is risky. This paper asks how entrepreneurial productivity risk has changed over time in the US and how this has affected employment. I estimate this risk using micro data on the size distribution of new businesses and their exit rates. The paper distinguishes upside and downside risk and analyzes their effects in a tractable dynamic general equilibrium model of entrepreneurship. At the heart of the model is the decision of potential entrepreneurs whether to start a new business in the face of uninsurable productivity risk. Applied to US time series data, structural estimates suggest that higher upside risk explains much of the high job creation in the late 1990s. Over the entire sample period, time variation in risk explains 40-55% of the variation in employment of new businesses. Reduced form results show that this relationship is strongest in IT-related industries. Counterfactual simulations show that the explanatory power of a model with a single risk factor drops by 30-50% compared to the baseline estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Drautzburg, 2013. "Entrepreneurial Tail Risk: Implications for Employment Dynamics," 2013 Meeting Papers 963, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:963
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    Cited by:

    1. Thorsten Drautzburg, 2020. "A narrative approach to a fiscal DSGE model," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 11(2), pages 801-837, May.
    2. Thorsten Drautzburg, 2016. "Just How Important Are New Businesses?," Economic Insights, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, vol. 1(4), pages 1-7, October.
    3. Gerald Carlino & Thorsten Drautzburg, 2020. "The role of startups for local labor markets," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(6), pages 751-775, September.

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