nep-ent New Economics Papers
on Entrepreneurship
Issue of 2020‒10‒05
thirteen papers chosen by
Marcus Dejardin
Université de Namur

  1. Kill Zone By Sai Krishna Kamepalli; Raghuram G. Rajan; Luigi Zingales
  2. Supervised learning for the prediction of firm dynamics By Falco J. Bargagli-Stoffi; Jan Niederreiter; Massimo Riccaboni
  3. Digital Entrepreneurship Research: A Concise Introduction By Naudé, Wim; Liebregts, Werner
  4. Fencing Off Silicon Valley: Cross-Border Venture Capital and Technology Spillovers By Ufuk Akcigit; Sina T. Ates; Josh Lerner; Richard R. Townsend; Yulia Zhestkova
  5. Launching with a Parachute: The Gig Economy and Entrepreneurial Entry By John M. Barrios; Yael V. Hochberg; Hanyi Yi
  6. Boom Town Business Dynamics By Ryan Decker; Meagan McCollum; Gregory B. Upton, Jr.
  7. Technology, industrial dynamics and productivity: a critical survey By Mehmet Ugur; Marco Vivarelli
  8. Board Dynamics over the Startup Life Cycle By Michael Ewens; Nadya Malenko
  9. Cognitive Abilities in the Wild: Population-scale game-based cognitive assessment By Mads Kock Pedersen; Carlos Mauricio Casta\~no D\'iaz; Mario Alejandro Alba-Marrugo; Ali Amidi; Rajiv Vaid Basaiawmoit; Carsten Bergenholtz; Morten H. Christiansen; Miroslav Gajdacz; Ralph Hertwig; Byurakn Ishkhanyan; Kim Klyver; Nicolai Ladegaard; Kim Mathiasen; Christine Parsons; Michael Bang Petersen; Janet Rafner; Anders Ryom Villadsen; Mikkel Wallentin; Jacob Friis Sherson; Skill Lab players
  10. Long-Term Effects of Equal Sharing: Evidence from Inheritance Rules for Land By Bartels, Charlotte; Jäger, Simon; Obergruber, Natalie
  11. Joining the Revolution: Executive Functions and the Transition to the Market By McKinley, Justin; Santos, Paulo; Meyer, Stefan; Feu, Yang
  12. Small and Medium Enterprises in the Pandemic : Impact, Responses and the Role of Development Finance By Adian,Ikmal; Doumbia,Djeneba; Gregory,Neil; Ragoussis,Alexandros; Reddy,Aarti; Timmis,Jonathan David
  13. The Effects of COVID-19 on U.S. Small Businesses: Evidence from Owners, Managers, and Employees By Georgij Alekseev; Safaa Amer; Manasa Gopal; Theresa Kuchler; JW Schneider; Johannes Stroebel; Nils C. Wernerfelt

  1. By: Sai Krishna Kamepalli (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business); Raghuram G. Rajan (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business and International Monetary Fund (IMF)); Luigi Zingales (University of Chicago - Booth School of Business)
    Abstract: We study why high-priced acquisitions of entrants by an incumbent do not necessarily stimulate more innovation and entry in an industry (like that of digital platforms) where customers face switching costs and enjoy network externalities. The prospect of an acquisition by the incumbent platform undermines early adoption by customers, reducing prospective payoffs to new entrants. This creates a Òkill zoneÓ in the space of startups, as described by venture capitalists, where new ventures are not worth funding. Evidence from changes in investment in startups by venture capitalists after major acquisitions by Facebook and Google suggests this is more than a mere theoretical possibility.
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Falco J. Bargagli-Stoffi; Jan Niederreiter; Massimo Riccaboni
    Abstract: Thanks to the increasing availability of granular, yet high-dimensional, firm level data, machine learning (ML) algorithms have been successfully applied to address multiple research questions related to firm dynamics. Especially supervised learning (SL), the branch of ML dealing with the prediction of labelled outcomes, has been used to better predict firms' performance. In this contribution, we will illustrate a series of SL approaches to be used for prediction tasks, relevant at different stages of the company life cycle. The stages we will focus on are (i) startup and innovation, (ii) growth and performance of companies, and (iii) firms exit from the market. First, we review SL implementations to predict successful startups and R&D projects. Next, we describe how SL tools can be used to analyze company growth and performance. Finally, we review SL applications to better forecast financial distress and company failure. In the concluding Section, we extend the discussion of SL methods in the light of targeted policies, result interpretability, and causality.
    Date: 2020–09
  3. By: Naudé, Wim (RWTH Aachen University); Liebregts, Werner (Tilburg University)
    Abstract: In the past few decades, technological progress has led to the digitization and digitalization of economies into what one could now call digital economies. The COVID-19 pandemic will accelerate the development of the digital economy. In a digital economy, digital entrepreneurs pursue opportunities to produce and trade in digital artifacts on digital artifact stores or platforms, and/or to create these digital artifact stores or platforms themselves. There is a well-recognized need for more research on digital entrepreneurship. As such, this paper provides an overview of the central research questions currently being pursued in this field. These include questions such as: What is digital entrepreneurship? What is different in the digital economy from an entrepreneurial perspective? What is the impact of digitalization - and big data - on business models and entrepreneurship? How can digital entrepreneurship be supported and regulated? The paper identifies areas of neglect, and makes proposals for future research.
    Keywords: gig economy, digital platforms, network effects, digital artifacts, digital entrepreneurship, digital entrepreneurial ecosystems
    JEL: L26 D21 M13 O33
    Date: 2020–09
  4. By: Ufuk Akcigit; Sina T. Ates; Josh Lerner; Richard R. Townsend; Yulia Zhestkova
    Abstract: The treatment of foreign investors has been a contentious topic in U.S. entrepreneurship policy in recent years. This paper examines foreign corporate investments in Silicon Valley from a theoretical and empirical perspective. We model a setting where such funding may allow U.S. entrepreneurs to pursue technologies that they could not otherwise, but may also lead to spillovers to the overseas firm providing the financing and the nation where it is based. We show that despite the benefits from such inbound investments for U.S. firms, it may be optimal for the U.S. government to raise their costs to deter investments. Using as comprehensive as possible a sample of investments by non-U.S. corporate investors in U.S. start-ups between 1976 and 2015, we find evidence consistent with the presence of knowledge spill-overs to foreign investors.
    JEL: G24 O33 O34
    Date: 2020–09
  5. By: John M. Barrios (Washington University); Yael V. Hochberg (Rice University and NBER); Hanyi Yi (Rice University)
    Abstract: The introduction of the gig economy creates opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs to supplement their income indownside states of the world, and provides insurance in the form of an income fallback in the event of failure. We present a conceptual framework supporting the notion that the gig economy may serve as an income supplement and as insurance against entrepreneurial-related income volatility, and utilize the arrival of the on-demand, platform-enabled gig economy in the form of the staggered rollout of ride hailing in U.S. cities to examine the effect of the arrival of the gig economy on entrepreneurial entry. The introduction of gig opportunities is associated with an increase of ~5% in the number of new business registrations in the local area, and correspondingly-sized increase in small business lending to newly registered businesses. Internet searches for entrepreneurship-related keywords increase ~7%, lending further credence to the predictions of our conceptual framework. Both the income supplement and insurance channels are empirically supported: the increase in entry is larger in regions with lower average income and higher credit constraints, as well as in locations with higher ex ante economic uncertainty regarding future wage levels and wage growth.
    JEL: L26 G39 O3
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Ryan Decker; Meagan McCollum; Gregory B. Upton, Jr.
    Abstract: The shale oil and gas boom in the U.S. provides a unique opportunity to study economic growth in a "boom town" environment, to derive insights about economic expansions more generally, and to obtain clean identification of the causal effects of economic growth on specific margins of business adjustment. The creation of new business establishments--separate from the expansion of existing establishments--accounts for a disproportionate share of the multi-industry employment growth sparked by the shale boom, an intuitive but not inevitable empirical result that is broadly consistent with canonical models of firm dynamics. New firms, in particular, contribute nearly half of the cumulative economic growth resulting from the shale boom.
    Keywords: Business dynamics; Entrepreneurship; Natural resource booms; Economic growth
    JEL: E24 L26 M13 Q33 Q35 R23
    Date: 2020–09–18
  7. By: Mehmet Ugur (Institute of Political Economy, Governance, Finance and Accountability, University of Greenwich, United Kingdom); Marco Vivarelli (Dipartimento di Politica Economica, DISCE, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore – UNU-MERIT, Maastricht, The Netherlands – IZA, Bonn, Germany)
    Abstract: We review the theoretical underpinnings and the empirical findings of the literature that investigates the effects of innovation on firm survival and firm productivity, which constitute the two main channels through which innovation drives growth. We aim to contribute to the ongoing debate along three paths. First, we discuss the extent to which the theoretical perspectives that inform the empirical models allow for heterogeneity in the effects of R&D/innovation on firm survival and productivity. Secondly, we draw attention to recent modeling and estimation effort that reveals novel sources of heterogeneity, non-linearity and volatility in the gains from R&D/innovation, particularly in terms of its effects on firm survival and productivity. Our third contribution is to link our findings with those from prior reviews to demonstrate how the state of the art is evolving and with what implications for future research.
    Keywords: Innovation, R&D, Survival, Productivity
    JEL: O30 O33
    Date: 2020–09
  8. By: Michael Ewens; Nadya Malenko
    Abstract: Venture capital (VC) backed firms face neither the governance requirements nor a major separation of ownership and control of their public peers. These differences suggest that independent directors could play a unique role on private firm boards. This paper explores the dynamics of VC-backed startup boards using new data on board member entry, exit, and individual director characteristics. We document several new facts about board size, the allocation of control, and composition dynamics. At formation, a typical board has four members and is entrepreneur-controlled. Independent directors are found on the median board after the second financing event, when control over the board becomes shared, with independent directors holding the tie-breaking vote. These patterns are consistent with independent directors playing both a mediating and advising role over the startup lifecycle, and thus representing another potential source of value-add to entrepreneurial firm performance.
    JEL: G24 G34
    Date: 2020–09
  9. By: Mads Kock Pedersen; Carlos Mauricio Casta\~no D\'iaz; Mario Alejandro Alba-Marrugo; Ali Amidi; Rajiv Vaid Basaiawmoit; Carsten Bergenholtz; Morten H. Christiansen; Miroslav Gajdacz; Ralph Hertwig; Byurakn Ishkhanyan; Kim Klyver; Nicolai Ladegaard; Kim Mathiasen; Christine Parsons; Michael Bang Petersen; Janet Rafner; Anders Ryom Villadsen; Mikkel Wallentin; Jacob Friis Sherson; Skill Lab players
    Abstract: Psychology and the social sciences are undergoing a revolution: It has become increasingly clear that traditional lab-based experiments fail to capture the full range of differences in cognitive abilities and behaviours across the general population. Some progress has been made toward devising measures that can be applied at scale across individuals and populations. What has been missing is a broad battery of validated tasks that can be easily deployed, used across different age ranges and social backgrounds, and employed in practical, clinical, and research contexts. Here, we present Skill Lab, a game-based approach allowing the efficient assessment of a suite of cognitive abilities. Skill Lab has been validated outside the lab in a crowdsourced population-size sample recruited in collaboration with the Danish Broadcast Company (Danmarks Radio, DR). Our game-based measures are five times faster to complete than the equivalent traditional measures and replicate previous findings on the decline of cognitive abilities with age in a large population sample. Furthermore, by combining the game data with an in-game survey, we demonstrate that this unique dataset has implication for key questions in social science, challenging the Jack-of-all-Trades theory of entrepreneurship and provide evidence for risk preference being independent of executive functioning.
    Date: 2020–09
  10. By: Bartels, Charlotte (DIW Berlin); Jäger, Simon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology); Obergruber, Natalie
    Abstract: What are the long-term economic effects of a more equal distribution of wealth? We exploit variation in historical inheritance rules for land in Germany. In some German areas, inherited land was to be shared or divided equally among children, while in others land was ruled to be indivisible. Using a geographic regression discontinuity design, we show that equal division of land led to a more equal distribution of land; other potential drivers of growth are smooth at the boundary and equal division areas were not historically more developed. Today, equal division areas feature higher average incomes and a right-shifted skill, income, and wealth distribution. Higher top incomes and top wealth in equal division areas coincide with higher education, and higher labor productivity. We show evidence consistent with the more even distribution of land leading to more innovative industrial by-employment during Germany's transition from an agrarian to an industrial economy and, in the long-run, more entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: distribution, economic growth, economic development
    JEL: D3 O1 O4
    Date: 2020–09
  11. By: McKinley, Justin; Santos, Paulo; Meyer, Stefan; Feu, Yang
    Abstract: This study proposes that some executive functions (EF)s are likely to play an important role in a producer’s willingness to adopt a new market activity. If so, EFs will be important factors in explaining a producer’s willingness to enter new markets and diversify their livelihoods. This paper is unique in that it is the first of its kind to investigate the role of higher-order EFs on entering new markets, filling a void in the literature identified by Dean, Schilbach et al. (2019). There has long been an interest in economics of better understanding the factors that expand the production possibilities frontier, leading to higher productivity and in some cases, a pathway out of poverty. Much of this interest has been on individual’s production management and more specifically on entrepreneurship. Schumpeter (1947) describes the entrepreneur as someone who does new things or does old things in a new way. This study examines the importance of cognitive function in shaping the “ability to do new things […]”, using the concept of EFs, which are defined in the cognitive psychology literature as the top-down mental processes that control an individual’s attention, dictates their ability to use information or suppress instinctive responses when those responses are not optimal (Miller and Cohen 2001, Espy 2004, Burgess and Simons 2005). EFs have received increasing attention in understanding economic behavior. In this study, EFs likely play a role in the optimization function of agricultural producers in the uplands of Laos who are seeking to optimize an objective (e.g. maximize utility, etc.) subject to some constraints. This study uses primary panel data collected from two periods to investigate the role of EFs on management decisions for agricultural producers in upland Laos, particularly producers’ decisions to transition away from the traditional agricultural practice of growing rice to a diversified or specialized system focused on producing cattle for the emerging market. This study uses a binary choice model to investigate selection into a specific agricultural activity and then uses the results of this step to control for selection bias when investigating the role of EFs on production once an agent has selected into a specific production system. Using EFs as proxies for differing management capacities, this study shows that executive functions matter in a producer’s willingness to enter new markets and diversify their livelihoods. Furthermore, higher EFs resulted in larger herd sizes for producers who entered into cattle production. This study adds to the literature in better understanding the underlying role of cognitive function has on adoption. In the future, EFs may be an important constraint to consider when designing successful development projects.
    Keywords: Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies
    Date: 2020–09–16
  12. By: Adian,Ikmal; Doumbia,Djeneba; Gregory,Neil; Ragoussis,Alexandros; Reddy,Aarti; Timmis,Jonathan David
    Abstract: This study highlights how COVID-19 has affected small and medium enterprises, drawing on newly released World Bank Enterprise Surveys in 13 countries. The study shows that firms of all sizes are severely affected in multiple dimensions; however, firm size matters for the intensity of the different channels of transmission and firms'responses. Small and medium enterprise sales shrink by more and their cash drains faster than large firms in the same sector and country. Among them, faster growing firms experience the demand shock somewhat less severely, but they are more exposed to international trade disruption, supply, and finance shocks. Yet, a range of firm responses to the downturn seem to be out of reach. Fewer small and medium-size enterprises, for example, start remote work, leaving their workers exposed to health risks. To make it through the pandemic, the majority of smaller firms do not turn to banks for loans; they need grants. Although development finance is not enough to fill the financing gap, development finance institutions are relevant -- in investment mobilization, demonstration, and know-how -- as economies move toward recovery and rebuilding. Delivering these requires rapid efforts to build partnerships and gather information in places where development finance has been limited in the past.
    Date: 2020–09–24
  13. By: Georgij Alekseev; Safaa Amer; Manasa Gopal; Theresa Kuchler; JW Schneider; Johannes Stroebel; Nils C. Wernerfelt
    Abstract: We analyze a large-scale survey of owners, managers, and employees of small businesses in the United States to understand the effects of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic on those businesses. The survey was fielded in late April 2020 among Facebook business page administrators, frequent sellers on Facebook's e-commerce platform Marketplace, and the general Facebook user population. We observe more than 66,000 responses covering most sectors of the economy, including many businesses that had stopped operating due to the pandemic. The survey asks 136 questions covering topics such as changes in business operations and employment, changes in financing patterns, and the interaction of household and business responsibilities. We characterize the adjustments implemented to survive the pandemic and explore the key challenges to continue operating or to re-open. We show how these patterns differ across industry, firm size, owner gender, and other firm characteristics.
    JEL: G0 M1
    Date: 2020–09

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