Paper accepted for Management Science

Posted: September 30th, 2011 | Filed under: Front, News, Research | Comments Off on Paper accepted for Management Science

My paper with Olav Sorenson on the performance of start-ups relative to their choice of location has been accepted for publication in Management Science, one of the World’s leading management journals.

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Organizational Change and Employee Stress – Out now

Posted: February 15th, 2011 | Filed under: Front, Journal Papers, Research | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Michael S. Dahl

This article analyzes the relationship between organizational change and employee health. It illuminates the potentially negative outcomes of change at the level of the employee. In addition, it relates to the ongoing debate over how employees react to and respond to organizational change. I hypothesize that change increases the risk of negative stress, and I test this hypothesis using a comprehensive panel data set of all stress-related medicine prescriptions for 92,860 employees working in 1,517 of the largest Danish organizations. The findings suggest that the risk of receiving stress-related medication increases significantly for employees at organizations that change, especially those that undergo broad simultaneous changes along several dimensions. Thus, organizational changes are associated with significant risks of employee health problems. These effects are further explored with respect to employees at different hierarchical levels as well as at firms of different sizes and from different sectors.

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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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Best paper in European Management Review 2009

Posted: May 29th, 2010 | Filed under: Front, News | Comments Off on Best paper in European Management Review 2009

My paper with Olav Sorenson, The Embedded Entrepreneur, has been given the EMR Best Paper Award 2009. We are very much honored to receive this award. Thanks to the editors, Alfonso and Maurizio!

From the EMR website:

EMR Best Paper Award – Annual Prize

We are delighted to announce the inauguration of an EMR ‘Best Paper Award’. The recipients are Michael Dahl and Olav Sorensen for their paper, ‘The Embedded Entrepreneur’, which appeared in Volume 6, Issue 3 of the Journal. The winners received a prize of €1000, and certificates were presented at the recent EURAM conference in Rome.


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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