nep-ent New Economics Papers
on Entrepreneurship
Issue of 2009‒10‒31
five papers chosen by
Marcus Dejardin
Notre-Dame de la Paix University

  1. Education and Entrepreneurial Choice: An Instrumental Variables Analysis By Jörn H. Block; Lennart Hoogerheide; Roy Thurik
  2. Firm Dynamics Support the Importance of the Embodied Question By Alain Gabler; Omar Licandro
  3. Not Invented Here? Innovation in Company Towns By Ajay K. Agrawal; Iain M. Cockburn; Carlos Rosell
  4. Product and Process Innovation and the decision to Export: Firm-level evidence for Belgium By Ilke VAN BEVEREN; Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE
  5. Incentives and Creativity: Evidence from the Academic Life Sciences By Pierre Azoulay; Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Gustavo Manso

  1. By: Jörn H. Block (Erasmus University Rotterdam, Technische Universität München); Lennart Hoogerheide (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Roy Thurik (Erasmus University Rotterdam, EIM Business and Policy Research, Zoetermeer, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena)
    Abstract: Education is argued to be an important driver of the decision to start a business. The measurement of its influence, however, is difficult since it is considered to be an endogenous variable. This study is the first to account for this endogeneity by using an instrumental variables approach. The effect of education on the decision to become self-employed is found to be strongly positive, much higher than the estimated effect in case no instrumental variables are used. That is, the higher the respondent's level of education, the greater the likelihood that he or she starts a business. Implications for method and practice are discussed.
    Keywords: Occupational choice; entrepreneurial choice; education; self-employment; endogeneity; instrumental variables; entrepreneurship
    JEL: C35 I20 J24 L26
    Date: 2009–10–13
  2. By: Alain Gabler; Omar Licandro
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on both embodied technical progress and firm dynamics, by formulating an endogenous growth model where selection and imitation play a fundamental role in helping capital good producers to learn about the productivity of technologies embodied in new plants. By calibrating the model to some key aggregates particularly relevant for the embodied capital literature, among them the growth rate of the relative investment price, the model quantitatively replicates the main facts associated to firm dynamics, such as the entry rate and the tail index of the establishment size distribution. In line with the previous literature, it also predicts a contribution to productivity growth of embodied technical progress and selection of around 60%.
    Keywords: endogenous growth; investmentspecific technological change; selection and imitation; firm entry and exit
    JEL: B52 O3 O41
    Date: 2009
  3. By: Ajay K. Agrawal; Iain M. Cockburn; Carlos Rosell
    Abstract: We examine variation in the concentration of inventive activity across 72 of North America's most highly innovative locations. In 12 of these areas, innovation is particularly concentrated in a single, large firm; we refer to such locations as "company towns.'' We find that inventors employed by large firms in these locations tend to draw disproportionately from their firm's own prior inventions (as measured by citations to their own prior patents) relative to what would be expected given the underlying distribution of innovative activity across all inventing firms in a particular technology field. Furthermore, we find such inventors are more likely to build upon the same prior inventions year after year. However, smaller firms in company towns do not exhibit this myopic behavior; they draw upon prior inventions as broadly as their small-firm counterparts in more diverse locations. In addition, we find that inventions by large firms in company towns have less impact than those produced elsewhere, although the difference is modest, and that the impact is disproportionately appropriated by the inventing firms themselves. Finally, the geographic scope of impact realized by company town inventions is narrower, whether produced by large or small firms.
    JEL: O18 O33 R11
    Date: 2009–10
  4. By: Ilke VAN BEVEREN (Lessius University College, Department of Business Studies, Antwerp and UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); Hylke VANDENBUSSCHE (UniversitŽ catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance and ¤ CEPR.)
    Abstract: Using data from the Community Innovation Survey for Belgium in two consecutive periods, this paper explores the relationship between firm-level innovation activities and the propensity to start exporting. To measure innovation, we include indicators of both innovative effort (R&D activities) as well as innovative output (product and process innovation). Our results suggest that the combination of product and process innovation, rather than either of the two in isolation, increases a firmÕs probability to enter the export market. After controlling for potential endogeneity of the innovation activities, only firms with a sufficiently high probability to start exporting engage in product and process innovation prior to their entry on the export market, pointing to the importance of self-selection into innovation.
    Keywords: Exports, Product innovation, Process innovation, Self-selection, Firm heterogeneity
    JEL: D24 F14 L25 O31 O33
    Date: 2009–09–14
  5. By: Pierre Azoulay; Joshua S. Graff Zivin; Gustavo Manso
    Abstract: Despite its presumed role as an engine of economic growth, we know surprisingly little about the drivers of scientific creativity. In this paper, we exploit key differences across funding streams within the academic life sciences to estimate the impact of incentives on the rate and direction of scientific exploration. Specifically, we study the careers of investigators of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), which tolerates early failure, rewards long-term success, and gives its appointees great freedom to experiment; and grantees from the National Institute of Health, which are subject to short review cycles, pre-defined deliverables, and renewal policies unforgiving of failure. Using a combination of propensity-score weighting and difference-in-differences estimation strategies, we find that HHMI investigators produce high-impact papers at a much higher rate than two control groups of similarly-accomplished NIH-funded scientists. Moreover, the direction of their research changes in ways that suggest the program induces them to explore novel lines of inquiry.
    JEL: O31 O32
    Date: 2009–10

This nep-ent issue is ©2009 by Marcus Dejardin. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.