Quantity and Quality of Jobs by Entrepreneurial Firms

Joern H. Block, Christian O. Fisch, Mirjam Van Praag

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The idea that start-ups and young firms (hereafter entrepreneurial firms) create jobs is very popular among policy-makers and has led to a large number of studies investigating the effect of entrepreneurship on job creation. Recently, however, society and many players in the political arena have begun to care not only about job quantity and quantitative employment levels, but also about the quality of the jobs created. This study provides the first systematic literature review of research on the quantity and quality of jobs created by entrepreneurial firms. Our review shows that entrepreneurial firms have a long-lasting and positive effect on job creation. This effect seems to be due to a very small fraction of young, high-growth firms. With regard to job quality, however, the findings are less clear cut: while some studies indicate that entrepreneurial firms do create higher-quality jobs, a multitude of studies indicate that these jobs are of lower quality. We also show that entrepreneurial firms attract a different type of employee than established firms. For example, employees in entrepreneurial firms attach a lower weight to salary and job security than those in established firms, and instead assign greater value to responsibility, innovation, and challenges. Another finding is that many jobs in entrepreneurial firms are filled by formerly unemployed individuals. The review concludes with policy implications and avenues for future research.
TidsskriftOxford Review of Economic Policy
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)565–583
Antal sider19
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2018


  • Start-ups
  • Young firms
  • Entrepreneurial firms
  • Job quality
  • Job creation