The effects of becoming an entrepreneur on the use of psychotropics among entrepreneurs and their spouses

Posted: January 10th, 2011 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , | Comments Off on The effects of becoming an entrepreneur on the use of psychotropics among entrepreneurs and their spouses

Michael S. Dahl, Jimmi Nielsen (Unit for Psychiatric Research, Aalborg Psychiatric Hospital, Aarhus University Hospital) and Ramin Mojtabai (Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health)

Aims: Entering entrepreneurship (i.e. becoming an entrepreneur) is known to be a demanding activity with increased workload, financial uncertainty and increased levels of stress. However, there are no systematic studies on how entering entrepreneurship affects the people involved.

Methods: The authors investigated prescriptions of psychotropics for 6,221 first-time entrepreneurs from 2001—2004 and their 2,381 spouses in the first two years after becoming entrepreneurs in a matched case-control study using linked data from three Danish national registries: The Danish database for Labor Market Research, the Danish Entrepreneurship database and the Danish Prescription database.

Results: Entrepreneurs were more likely to fill prescriptions at pharmacies for sedatives/hypnotics (adjusted odds ratio (AOR): 1.45 [95% CI: 1.26—1.66], p < .0001). However, they were less likely to fill prescriptions for antidepressants (AOR: 0.74 [95% CI: 0.59—0.92] p = 0.007). Spouses of these entrepreneurs were also more likely to fill prescriptions for sedatives/hypnotics (AOR: 1.36 [95% CI: 1.10—1.67], p = 0.005). No difference in prescription of antidepressants was found for spouses.

Conclusions: This study showed that there was a significant relation between entering entrepreneurship and receiving prescriptions for sedative/hypnotics both among the entrepreneurs themselves and their spouses, suggesting that entering entrepreneurship may be associated with increased stress for both the entrepreneurs and their families.

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Home Sweet Home: Entrepreneurs’ Location Choices and the Performance of Their Ventures

Posted: April 28th, 2010 | Filed under: Front, Research | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Home Sweet Home: Entrepreneurs’ Location Choices and the Performance of Their Ventures

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Entrepreneurs, even more than employees, tend to locate in regions in which they have deep roots (‘home’ regions). Here, we examine the performance implications of these choices. Whereas one might expect entrepreneurs to perform better in these regions because of their richer endowments of regionally-embedded social capital, they might also perform worse if their location choices rather reflect a preference for spending time with family and friends. We examine this question using comprehensive data on Danish startups. Ventures perform better – survive longer and generate greater annual profits and cash flows – when located in regions in which their founders have lived longer. This effect appears substantial, similar in size to the value of prior experience in the industry (i.e. to being a spinoff).

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The Devil Dwells in the Tails: A Quantile Regression Approach to Firm Growth – Out now

Posted: April 10th, 2010 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , | Comments Off on The Devil Dwells in the Tails: A Quantile Regression Approach to Firm Growth – Out now

Toke Reichstein, Michael S. Dahl, Bernd Ebersberger and Morten B. Jensen

This paper explores the firm growth rate distribution in a Gibrat’s Law context. The aim is to provide an empirical exploration of the determinants of firm growth. The work is novel in two respects. First, rather than limiting the analysis to focus on the conditional mean growth level, we investigate the complete shape of the distribution. Second, we show that the differences in the firm growth rate process between large and small firms are highly circumstantial. That industry dynamics have a substantial influence on the relationship between firm size and firm growth. The data used includes more than 9000 Danish firms from manufacturing, services and construction. We provide robust evidence indicating that firm growth studies should be less obsessed with explaining means and instead look to other parts of the firm growth rate distribution.

Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 219-231 (2010)

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Growth and Job Creation of Spin-offs

Posted: April 2nd, 2010 | Filed under: Front, News, Research, Working Papers | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on Growth and Job Creation of Spin-offs

Pernille G. Jensen and I have written a small paper on the performance of spin-offs in Denmark in terms of job creation and employment growth. It is an explorative, simple paper presentating findings on the potential of spin-offs as a particularly significant type of entrepreneurial entrant relative to other types of entrants. The paper has been submitted to an edited volume and is based on research from a project financed by the Rockwool Foundation.

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Paper accepted for Social Forces

Posted: February 26th, 2010 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, News, Research | Comments Off on Paper accepted for Social Forces

My paper with Olav Sorenson on the migration of blue collar workers has been accepted for publication in Social Forces, one of the World’s leading sociology journals. We introduce a new method for estimating the financial value of social factors and show how the location choice of blue collar workers depend strongly on social factors and less on financial incentives.

Link to abstract, DOI link to paper


The Migration of Technical Workers – Out now

Posted: November 27th, 2009 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Migration of Technical Workers – Out now

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Using panel data on the Danish population, we estimated the revealed preferences of scientists and engineers for the places in which they choose to work. Our results indicate that these technical workers exhibit substantial sensitivity to differences in wages but that they have even stronger preferences for living close to family and friends. The magnitude of these preferences, moreover, suggests that the greater geographic mobility of scientists and engineers, relative to the population as a whole, stems from more pronounced variation across regions in the wages that they can expect. These results remain robust to estimation on a sample of individuals who must select new places of work for reasons unrelated to their preferences—those who had been employed at establishments that discontinued operations.

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson (2010) “The migration of technical workers”,Journal of Urban Economics, Vol. 67 (1), pp. 33-45 [DOI Link]


New book published (in Danish)

Posted: November 19th, 2009 | Filed under: Front, News, Research | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on New book published (in Danish)

Jagten på fremtidens nye vækstvirksomheder

Jagten på fremtidens nye vækstvirksomheder

Jagten på fremtidens nye vækstvirksomheder

Nyetablerede virksomheder bidrager årligt netto med 60.000 nye job til dansk økonomi, mens ældre virksomheder i gennemsnit siger farvel til flere personer, end de ansætter. Det understreger vigtigheden af nye virksomheder på arbejdsmarkedet.

De mest succesfulde iværksættere har typisk stor brancheerfaring. Særligt interessante er de såkaldte spin-off-iværksættere, som kommer direkte fra en eksisterende virksomhed i samme branche. Disse iværksættere står bag omkring 30 % af de nye virksomheder, og de har større sandsynlighed for at overleve i længere tid og blive vækstiværksættere. Dvs. iværksættere, der skaber høj beskæftigelse og værdi til samfundet. Overlevelsen hos de nye virksomheder er central og en vigtig forudsætning for en langvarig positiv effekt på samfundsøkonomien.

Undersøgelsen er finansieret af Rockwool Fonden. Bogens resultater bygger bl.a. på en gennemgang af karakteristika ved mere end 26.000 iværksættere fra 1994-2006, suppleret med en spørgeskemaundersøgelse blandt 10.000 danskere.

Undersøgelsen peger på, at beskæftigelsen kan udbygges, hvis de nye virksomheders potentiale styrkes, så de vokser mere. Vi kan med andre ord øge gevinsten uden, at der nødvendigvis etableres flere virksomheder, hvis vi fokuserer på de virksomheder, som overlever bedre, og hvis ejere har en større sandsynlighed for at blive vækstiværksættere. Bogen går derfor videre med at præsentere de personlige karakteristika hos de iværksættere, som giver den største sandsynlighed for overlevelse og vækst.

Spørgeskemaundersøgelsen viser, at spin-off-iværksætterne udover deres brancheerfaring især adskiller sig fra de øvrige iværksættere på følgende dimensioner: De er yngre, og de har en højere indkomst på det tidspunkt, hvor de bliver iværksættere. De investerer mere tid i deres arbejdsliv, og de lægger væsentligt større vægt på selvstændighed. Derfor starter de oftere virksomheder, som er uafhængige af andre virksomheder. Spin-off-iværksætterne bruger ligeledes deres netværk mere aktivt og har forbindelse til flere iværksættere gennem deres netværk.

Michael S. Dahl, Pernille G. Jensen og Kristian Nielsen. ”Jagten på fremtidens nye vækstvirksomheder”, udkom den 19. november 2009 på DJØF Forlag

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The Embedded Entrepreneur – Out now

Posted: May 13th, 2009 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Embedded Entrepreneur – Out now

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Using comprehensive data on the Danish population, this paper examines the determinants of entrepreneurs’ choices of where to locate their new ventures. Our findings suggest that entrepreneurs place much more emphasis on being close to family and friends than on regional characteristics that might influence the performance of their ventures when deciding where to locate those businesses. Two factors could explain our findings: On the one hand, entrepreneurs may simply value proximity to family and friends. On the other hand, these relationships may help them to assemble the assets and to recruit the personnel that they need to succeed in their ventures. Our results suggest that the former plays the greater role in entrepreneurs’ location choices.

Update, May 28: Received the EMR Best Paper Award for 2009

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson (2009) “The embedded entrepreneur”, European Management Review, Vol. 6, pp. 172-181 [DOI Link]Download here


Whom do new firms hire?

Posted: September 4th, 2008 | Filed under: Front, Research, Working Papers | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Whom do new firms hire?

Michael S. Dahl and Steven Klepper

Using the matched employer-employee data set for Denmark and information on the founders of new firms, we analyze the hiring choices of all new firms that entered in 1995-2001. We develop a theoretical model in which the quality of a firm’s employees determines its average cost, a firm’s productivity is based on its pre-entry experience and persistent shocks, and over time firms learn about their productivity. The model predicts that more productive firms are larger and hire more talented employees, which gives rise to various predictions about how pre-entry experience, firm growth rates, and firm size influence the wages firms pay to their early hires. We find that beginning with the time of entry, larger firms consistently pay higher wages to their new hires. These are firms with greater survival prospects at the time of entry based on the pre-entry backgrounds of their founders and that grow at greater rates over time, both of which are predictive of the wages paid to new hires from the time of entry onward. Our findings suggest workers are allocated to firms according to their abilities, which can give rise to enduring firm capabilities.


The Social Attachment to Place

Posted: July 5th, 2008 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | Comments Off on The Social Attachment to Place

Michael S. Dahl and Olav Sorenson

Many theories either implicitly or explicitly assume that individuals readily move to locations that improve their financial well being. Other forces, however, counteract these tendencies; for example, people often wish to remain close to family and friends. We introduce a methodology for determining how individuals weight these countervailing forces, and estimate how both financial incentives and social factors influence the probability of geographic mobility in the Danish population from 2002 to 2003. Our results suggest that individuals respond to opportunities for higher pay elsewhere, but that their sensitivity to this factor pales in comparison to their preferences for living near family and friends.

Social Forces, Vol. 89, No. 2, December 2010, DOI link to paper