Small Business Economics

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 63–84 | Cite as

Entry and exit dynamics of nascent business owners

  • Vera Rocha
  • Anabela Carneiro
  • Celeste Amorim Varum
Original Research


This paper reports a comprehensive study on the dynamics of nascent business owners using a unique longitudinal matched employer–employee dataset. We follow over 157,000 individuals who leave paid employment and become business owners during the period 1992–2007. The contributions of this paper are twofold. First, we analyze both entry and exit, identifying and characterizing different profiles of individuals leaving paid employment to become business owners, and distinguishing exits by dissolution from exits by ownership transfer. Second, we provide new evidence on how particular experiences in the labor market and entry modes shape the post-entry dynamics of nascent business owners. By differentiating between different entry and exit routes, this paper provides new evidence on different human capital patterns among nascent business owners and on key determinants of entrepreneurial survival. Our results suggest that different exit modes can be predicted by business owners’ entry route. Furthermore, different exit modes exhibit different duration dependence patterns according to the entry mode. Additionally, the paper shows that businesses started after a displacement episode are not necessarily less successful. Those individuals entering entrepreneurship after being displaced due to previous employer closure are found to persist longer.


Entrepreneurship Business ownership Entry Exit 

JEL Classifications

J24 L26 M13 



We acknowledge GEE—MEE (Gabinete de Estratégia e Estudos—Ministério da Economia e do Emprego) for allowing the use of Quadros de Pessoal dataset. We are grateful to José Varejão and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions on a previous version of this paper. The first author also acknowledges FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia) for financial support through the doctoral grant SFRH/BD/71556/2010. CEF.UP—Centre for Economics and Finance at the University of Porto—is funded by FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia); project reference: PEst-OE/EGE/UI4105/2014.

Supplementary material

11187_2015_9641_MOESM1_ESM.docx (71 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 70 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Rocha
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anabela Carneiro
    • 2
  • Celeste Amorim Varum
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics (INO)Copenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark
  2. 2.Faculdade de EconomiaUniversidade do Porto, CEF.UPPortoPortugal
  3. 3.CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education PoliciesMatosinhosPortugal
  4. 4.Department of Economics, Management and Industrial Engineering and GOVCOPPUniversidade de AveiroAveiroPortugal

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