Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship
AbstractMany observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. Integrating administrative data on firms, workers, and owners, we study start-ups systematically in the United States and find that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. The mean age at founding for the 1-in-1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45.0. The findings are similar when considering high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits. Prior experience in the specific industry predicts much greater rates of entrepreneurial success. These findings strongly reject common hypotheses that emphasize youth as a key trait of successful entrepreneurs.
CitationAzoulay, Pierre, Benjamin F. Jones, J. Daniel Kim, and Javier Miranda. 2020. "Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship." American Economic Review: Insights, 2 (1): 65-82. DOI: 10.1257/aeri.20180582
- G24 Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage; Ratings and Ratings Agencies
- J14 Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-labor Market Discrimination
- L26 Entrepreneurship
- M13 New Firms; Startups
- O31 Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives