Working papers

with Chris Rider Aleksandra Kacperczyk, and Joacim Tag
This version: March 2014
We document in two very different datasets an inverted U-shaped relationship between work experience and entrepreneurship among movers. The first dataset consists of 1,248 U.S. lawyers who were forced to seek alternative employment after the sudden dissolutions of their employers. The second consists of almost seven million observations on Swedish workers, where job separation is predominantly unrelated to job destruction. Our empirical results are consistent with a model of stochastic accumulation of employer-specific and transferable skills, where the mix between the two is not fully observable to outside parties.
with Paul Windrum and Michelle Haynes
March 2014

Modular encapsulation provides new features without altering the number of the core modules that make up a complex product, or their functionality. This innovation strategy has not been considered in the mirroring literature. Using a dataset of prices and product features for 1,816 professional cameras sold between 1955 and 1974, we apply data envelope analysis (DEA) to test the strategic significance of lens and body encapsulation by proprietary automated exposure (AE) systems. We find that the professional camera market was modular between 1955 and 1960, dominated by German specialist body and specialist lens manufacturers. Market structure changed due to the success of innovative Japanese start-ups, particularly integrated body and lens manufacturers who, from 1961, successfully developed proprietary AE systems that offered users novel features. The success of these Japanese integrated manufacturing firms broke the mirror between product architecture and industry architecture.​​

[1] Entrepreneurial Couples
with Michael Dahl and Mirjam van Praag
February 2014

We study possible motivations for co-entrepenurial couples to start up a joint firm, using a sample of 1,069 Danish couples that established a joint enterprise between 2001 and 2010. We compare their pre-entry characteristics, firm performance and post-dissolution private and financial outcomes with a selected set of comparable firms and couples. We find evidence that couples often establish a business together because one spouse – most commonly the female – has limited outside opportunities in the labor market. However, the financial benefits for each of the spouses, and especially the female, are larger in co-entrepreneurial firms, both during the life of the business and post-dissolution. The start-up of co-entrepreneurial firms seems therefore a sound investment in the human capital of both spouses as well as in the reduction of income inequality in the household. We find no evidence of non-pecuniary benefits or costs of co-entrepreneurship