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Does interdisciplinarity lead to higher employment growth of academic spinoffs?


  • Müller, Bettina


Does heterogeneity in the educational backgrounds of the founders matter for firm success? Are team foundations more successful than single entrepreneurs? These questions are analysed using data on academic spinoffs in Germany. Firm success is measured by employment growth. I find that team foundations have higher employment growth than single entrepreneurs. Team foundations of engineers perform better when they have a business scientist in the team. However, different subjects per se and heterogeneity in the academic origins of the founders do not play a significant role for the employment growth of academic spinoffs.

Suggested Citation

  • Müller, Bettina, 2009. "Does interdisciplinarity lead to higher employment growth of academic spinoffs?," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-087, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:09087

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joachim Wagner, 2006. "Are nascent entrepreneurs 'Jacks-of-all-trades'? A test of Lazear's theory of entrepreneurship with German data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(20), pages 2415-2419.
    2. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters,in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    4. Matthias Almus, 2004. "The Shadow of Death -- An Emperical Analysis of the Pre-Exit Performance of New German Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 23(3), pages 189-201, October.
    5. Almus, Matthias & Engel, Dirk & Prantl, Susanne, 2000. "The Mannheim Foundation Panels of the Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW)," ZEW Dokumentationen 00-02, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Evans, David S, 1987. "Tests of Alternative Theories of Firm Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(4), pages 657-674, August.
    7. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    8. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    9. Oliver Fabel, 2004. "Spinoffs of Entrepreneurial Firms: An O-Ring Approach," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 160(3), pages 416-416, September.
    10. Amason, Allen C. & Shrader, Rodney C. & Tompson, George H., 2006. "Newness and novelty: Relating top management team composition to new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 125-148, January.
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    More about this item


    human capital; entrepreneurship; academic spinoffs; employment growth;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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