Demographics and Entrepreneurship

By James LiangHui WangEdward Lazear
Journal of Political Economy
October2018 Vol. 126 Issue S1 Pages S140-S196.

Entrepreneurship requires energy and creativity as well as business acumen. Some factors that contribute to entrepreneurship decline with age, but business skills increase with experience in high-level positions. Having too many older workers in society slows entrepreneurship. When older workers occupy key positions, they block younger workers from acquiring skills. A theory is formulated and tested using the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor data. A one standard deviation decrease in a country’s median age increases new business formation by 2.5 percentage points, which is about 40 percent of the mean rate. Furthermore, older societies have lower rates of entrepreneurship at every age. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]