Entrepreneurship, Experimentation, and Career Dynamics

Adrián L. Mérida, Vera Rocha

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


We contribute to the extant understanding of the relationship between entrepreneurial experience and lifetime earn-ings in two ways. First, we analyze the role of the timing of entrepreneurship within a professional career by explor-ing whether entrepreneurship influences lifetime earnings differently when it happens at the beginning of the career rather than later. Second, we add to the topic of the
value of experimenting in entrepreneurship by considering the relationship between the duration of the entrepreneurial spell and lifetime earnings. Using register data from the population of Denmark,
we compare lifetime earnings of university graduates who start their careers as entrepre-neurs (?early entrepreneurs?), graduates who start as wage-employees but become entrepreneurs later in their
careers (?late entrepreneurs?), and graduates who never become entrepreneurs (?never entrepreneurs?). Thanks to the rich-ness of our data, we are able to track the careers and earnings of
such graduates during their first 15 years in the labor market. Results from matched samples show an interesting picture. Consistent with recent research, a premium for individuals who ever become
entrepreneurs is also present in our sample. Importantly, we find that early entre-preneurs are betteroff than never entrepreneurs when they switch quickly to wage-employment after a brief experimentation period in entrepreneurship, or when they are able to run long-lived successful firms. However, attempting entrepreneurship later in the career seems to be the best alternative in terms of
risk-reward. Several mechanisms driving these results as well as their potential implications are further discussed.
Antal sider35
StatusUdgivet - 2018
BegivenhedDRUID18 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Danmark
Varighed: 11 jun. 201813 jun. 2018
Konferencens nummer: 40


KonferenceDRUID18 Conference
LokationCopenhagen Business School


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Graduates
  • Lifetime earnings
  • Experimentation