سرمایه انسانی کارآفرینان و حجم راه اندازی شرکت های مبتنی بر فن آوری های جدید
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18459||2004||29 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||محاسبه نشده|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Industrial Organization, Volume 22, Issues 8–9, November 2004, Pages 1183–1211
This paper investigates the determinants of the start-up size of new technology-based firms. While previous empirical studies generally focussed on industry-specific variables, we draw attention to the characteristics of founders, notably their human capital. In the empirical section, we consider a sample of 391 young Italian firms operating in high-tech industries in both manufacturing and services. The econometric estimates confirm the explanatory power of the industry-specific effects highlighted by previous work. In addition, they indicate that the human capital of founders figures prominently in explaining the firms' start-up size. Furthermore, the specific component of human capital associated with industry-specific professional knowledge and managerial and entrepreneurial experiences is found to have a greater positive impact on the initial firm size than the generic component, proxied by education and general (i.e., non-industry-specific) working experience.
Since the early 1980s, a rich stream of empirical literature has analysed the determinants of new firm creation and the postentry performances of new firms (for a survey, see Geroski, 1995, Sutton, 1997 and Caves, 1998). Such studies have established several interesting “stylised facts”. First, although new firms are very numerous, they generally are much smaller than incumbents (Cable and Schwalbach, 1991). Second, in the years that immediately follow foundation mortality rates are very high among newly born firms; however, they decline with start-up size. In other words, the higher the initial size of a new firm, the higher the probability of survival, all else equal (Evans, 1987a, Evans, 1987b, Dunne et al., 1988, Dunne et al., 1989, Philips and Kirchhoff, 1989, Audretsch, 1991, Mata and Portugal, 1994, Audretsch and Mahmood, 1994, Audretsch and Mahmood, 1995, Mata et al., 1995, Audretsch, 1995b and Cabral and Mata, 2003). Third, Gibrat's law claiming that firms' growth rates are independent of firm size has been found not to hold for young firms. Studies relating to different countries and industries have shown that smaller new firms exhibit significantly higher growth rates than their relatively larger counterparts (see Evans, 1987a, Evans, 1987b, Dunne et al., 1988, Dunne et al., 1989 and Hart and Oulton, 1996). This result is generally interpreted as a consequence of the need to eliminate as rapidly as possible the cost disadvantage accruing from operating at suboptimal scale. The fact that the survival prospects of new firms are generally found to be lower and the growth rates of new surviving firms to be greater in industries where there are substantial economies of scale lends support to such view (see, for instance, Audretsch and Mahmood, 1994 and Audretsch, 1995b. For a different view, see Mata and Portugal, 1994).1 If a larger start-up size positively affects the likelihood of survival of new firms and if surviving new firms that started operations at smaller scale struggle to catch up, the question arises why there are firms with small initial size. Unfortunately, the analysis of the determinants of the size of new firms has so far remained rather undeveloped. A few empirical studies have tried to relate the initial scale of firms to specific characteristics of the industry in which they are going to operate (Mata, 1996, Mata and Machado, 1996 and Görg et al., 2000). Such studies show that start-up size increases with the minimum efficient scale (MES) of the industry, the cost disadvantage of operating at suboptimal scale, and industry growth, while it diminishes with the entity of sunk costs, inversely measured by the easiness of entry into and exit from the industry. The impact of market size is more controversial, being positive but weakly significant in Mata (1996) and Mata and Machado (1996) and prevalently negative in Görg et al. (2000). Note that both Mata and Machado (1996) and Görg et al. (2000) acknowledge that there is size heterogeneity among new firms in a given industry; however, the sources of heterogeneity generally remain unobserved due to lack of proper data at firm level. A different stream of the economic literature that has analysed the entrepreneurial choices of individuals (see Evans and Jovanovic, 1989, Evans and Leighton, 1989, Holtz-Eakin et al., 1994a and Lindh and Ohlsson, 1996) has shown that both personal characteristics, such as age, education and working experience, and financial conditions, play a key role in shaping the decision to become an entrepreneur. In spite of the fact that such factors are very likely to influence also the size of a new firm, the evidence so far provided on this issue is rather scarce. Mata (1996) considers some covariates reflecting the human capital of new firms' founders, namely, their age as a proxy for working experience and education. His estimates of a sample selection model highlight a positive and statistically significant effect of the two abovementioned variables on the size of new Portuguese firms, measured by the log of employment: older and more educated people set up larger businesses. Holtz-Eakin et al. (1994b) consider a group of people in the United States who received inheritances and show that for individuals who started a new company, the amount of capital invested in the new firm increases with an increase of the size of the inheritance; such a finding suggests that liquidity constraints influence start-up size. Ǻstebro and Bernhardt's (1999) study is the most similar to the present work. They examine the determinants of start-up capital for 986 U.S. firms created in 1987 by 1194 individuals. The amount of capital initially invested in a firm turns out to increase with an increase of the human capital of the founding team, proxied by years of working experience and managerial and entrepreneurial competencies. In addition, individuals with greater predicted household income are found to start larger enterprises. In turn, with all else equal, household income is positively related to the human capital of individuals. Such results indicate that entrepreneurs' human capital has both direct and indirect positive effects on firms' start-up capital, with the indirect effect arising from relaxation of financial constraints. They also suggest that entrepreneurs indeed are financially constrained.2 In this paper, we adhere to and extend this approach. Following Mata (1996) and Ǻstebro and Bernhardt (1999) rather than focussing solely on industry characteristics, we examine the effects of the human capital of founders on the initial size of new technology-based firms (NTBFs). Initial size is measured by the log of the number of employees after 12 months from the date on which the firm was incorporated.3 We take advantage of a quite detailed description of the human capital of founding teams; in particular, we are able to separate founders according to whether their previous work experience was related to the business the new firm is in or not. This is an important distinction. In fact, the personal wealth an entrepreneur may have access to is likely to increase with the years of work experience, but to be independent of its industry-specific nature. On the contrary, the productivity of human capital in the entrepreneurial job is likely to be greater for founders with related rather than unrelated working experience. Therefore, consideration of the nature of the founders' work experience helps shed new light into the reasons why new firms start operations at small scale. The empirical analysis is based on a sample composed of 391 Italian firms that were established in the 1980s and 1990s and operate in high-tech manufacturing and service industries. The NTBF sector offers an ideal test bed of theoretical hypotheses on the determinants of start-up size. First, newcomers allegedly play a fundamental role for static and dynamic efficiency (see Audretsch, 1995a). Second, founders' competencies are regarded as a key source of competitive advantage for new firms (see Cooper and Bruno, 1977). Third, capital market imperfections are likely to be magnified for NTBFs (see Carpenter and Petersen, 2002). In addition, while focussing on NTBFs, we are better able to control for the influence exerted on start-up size by environmental factors. The paper proceeds as follows. In next section, we build on the literature on entrepreneurship to develop an empirical model of firms' start-up size that takes into due account the influence of the human capital of founders. In Section 3, we present the data set. Section 4 is devoted to the specification of the econometric models and the description of the dependent and explanatory variables. In Section 5, we illustrate the results of the estimates. Summarising remarks in Section 6 conclude the paper.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this paper was to extend our understanding of the determinants of firms' start-up size. The decision as to the initial scale of operations is an important one. As is well documented in the literature, in the early years following entry, start-up size positively affects the probability of survival. In addition, surviving new firms that started operations at suboptimal scale struggle to grow so as to rapidly eliminate the disadvantage accruing from small size. Nevertheless, the analysis of the factors that influence the initial size of firms is quite undeveloped. The few empirical studies on this topic primarily focus on industry characteristics, such as the presence of economies of scale and environmental uncertainty; because of lack of proper data, they generally are unable to explain the observed heterogeneity among new entrants in a given industry. Therefore the question why firms enter into the same market with different sizes so far remains largely unexplored. This paper directly addresses this issue; while controlling for industry-specific and other contextual factors, it draws attention to the influence exerted on start-up size by founders' human capital. In particular, we aim to disentangle the “entrepreneurial ability” and “wealth” effects of human capital. For this purpose, we consider a sample composed of 391 Italian firms that operate in high-tech industries, in both manufacturing and services, were created in 1980 or later, and were independent at start-up time. We estimate different econometric models (OLS, truncated, sample selection models) relating firms' initial size proxied alternatively by the number of salaried employees and the sum of the number of founders and salaried employees to a series of covariates. The key findings can be summarised as follows. First, the human capital of entrepreneurs measured by several indicators of educational attainments and work experience turns out to have a crucial influence on start-up size. The effect of human capital is twofold. On the one hand, founders with greater entrepreneurial talent and greater confidence in the prospects of the new venture start operations at greater scale, all being equal. On the other hand, more educated, better qualified, and probably wealthier individuals suffer to a lesser extent from financial constraints associated with imperfections in capital markets that otherwise hinder achievement of the “optimal” start-up size. In accordance with this view, all human capital variables generally have a positive impact on firms' initial size. However, variables that reflect the specific component of human capital (i.e., years of work experience of founders in the same sector of the new firm and variables indicating their managerial and entrepreneurial experiences) and thus capture both the “wealth” and the “entrepreneurial ability” effects of human capital exhibit greater explanatory power than those that only reflect the generic component (i.e., notably work experience in other sectors of activity). These results are interesting in their own right as they confirm the view that the existence of both firm-specific persistent shocks and financial constraints is a key driver of the dynamics of young firms (see Cooley and Quadrini, 2001). They also have important policy implications. Some authors (see, for instance, Holtz-Eakin, 2000 and Santarelli and Vivarelli, 2002) question the rationale for public support of new firms. Actually, failure rates are especially high among such firms. Therefore, public support may distort and delay the competitive selection process, subsidising inefficiencies. This is especially worrisome if firms are not financially constrained. In this paper, we have shown that the start-up size of Italian NTBFs increases with the industry-specific and managerial skills of founders. As there is a positive relation between firms' initial size and the probability of survival, the likelihood that the firms established by such highly qualified individuals be able to stay in business is greater. In addition, the initial size of firms also increases with the level of education and the generic work experience of founders, two variables that generally indicate availability of greater personal wealth to finance the new firm. Thus, this evidence possibly suggests that Italian NTBFs indeed are financially constrained; survey-based evidence on Italian high-tech start-ups supports such view (Giudici and Paleari, 2000. See also Colombo and Grilli, 2004). While we agree with the view that indiscriminate public support to the NTBF sector is both unfeasible and inefficient, this does not mean that there is no need for public support. In particular, the evidence provided in this study argues in favour of public interventions that stimulate the establishment of new firms by individuals endowed with a high level of specific human capital and facilitate the provision of seed and start-up capital to those ventures.