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 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]


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