What makes a successful entrepreneur? Using Danish register data, we find strong support for the hypothesis that theoretical skills from schooling and practical skills acquired through wage-work are complementary inputs in the human capital earnings function of entrepreneurs. In fact, we find that schooling only pays off in combination with wage-work experience, as the returns to schooling are insignificant when the entrepreneur has no wage-work experience. The results are extremely robust toward more flexible specifications, including fixed-effect estimations dealing with unobserved heterogeneity. Furthermore, the interaction term is negligible for non-entrepreneurs, suggesting that the complementarity between wage-work experience and schooling is a distinctive characteristic of entrepreneurs.
- Human capital