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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Cover page of Taking the Leap: The Determinants of Entrepreneurs Hiring their First Employee

Taking the Leap: The Determinants of Entrepreneurs Hiring their First Employee


Job creation is one of the most important aspects of entrepreneurship, but we know relatively little about the hiring patterns and decisions of startups. Longitudinal data from the Integrated Longitudinal Business Database (iLBD), Kauffman Firm Survey (KFS), and the Growing America through Entrepreneurship (GATE) experiment are used to provide some of the first evidence in the literature on the determinants of taking the leap from a non-employer to employer firm among startups. Several interesting patterns emerge regarding the dynamics of non-employer startups hiring their first employee. Hiring rates among the universe of non-employer startups are very low, but increase when the population of non-employers is focused on more growth-oriented businesses such as incorporated and EIN businesses. If non-employer startups hire, the bulk of hiring occurs in the first few years of existence. After this point in time relatively few non-employer startups hire an employee. Focusing on more growth- and employment-oriented startups in the KFS, we find that Asian-owned and Hispanic-owned startups have higher rates of hiring their first employee than white-owned startups. Female-owned startups are roughly 10 percentage points less likely to hire their first employee by the first, second and seventh years after startup. The education level of the owner, however, is not found to be associated with the probability of hiring an employee. Among business characteristics, we find evidence that business assets and intellectual property are associated with hiring the first employee. Using data from the largest random experiment providing entrepreneurship training in the United States ever conducted, we do not find evidence that entrepreneurship training increases the likelihood that non-employers hire their first employee.

Cover page of Racial Differences in Labor Market Transitions and the Great Recession

Racial Differences in Labor Market Transitions and the Great Recession


Labor force transitions are empirically examined using CPS data matched across months from 1996-2012 for Hispanics, African-Americans and whites. Transition probabilities are contrasted prior to the Great Recession and afterwards. Estimates indicate that minorities are more likely to be fired as business cycle conditions worsen. Estimates also show that minorities are usually more likely to be hired when business cycle conditions are weak. During the Great Recession, the odds of losing a job increased for minorities although cyclical sensitivity of the transition declined. Odds of becoming re-employed declined dramatically for blacks, by 2-4 percent, while the probability was unchanged for Hispanics.

Cover page of The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity | National Trends

The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity | National Trends


The Kauffman Index: Startup Activity is a novel early indicator of new business creation in the United States, integrating several high-quality sources of timely entrepreneurship information into one composite indicator of startup activity. The Index captures business activity in all industries, and is based on both a nationally representative sample size of more than a half million observations each year and on the universe of all employer businesses in the United States. This allows us to look at both entrepreneurs and the startups they create. Broad-based entrepreneurship in America appears to be slowly crawling its way out of the depths it has been stuck in since 2010. Startup activity rose in 2015, reversing a five-year downward trend in the United States, giving rise to hope for a revival of entrepreneurship. However, the return remains tepid and well below historical trends. A principle driver of this year’s uptick is the growth of male opportunity entrepreneurship, accompanied by the continued strength of immigrant entrepreneurship. Trends in entrepreneurship rates are analyzed for several additional demographic groups.

Cover page of Do Boys and Girls Use Computers Differently, and Does It Contribute to Why Boys doWorse in School than Girls?

Do Boys and Girls Use Computers Differently, and Does It Contribute to Why Boys doWorse in School than Girls?


Boys are doing worse in school than are girls, which has been dubbed "the Boy Crisis." An analysis of the latest data on educational outcomes among boys and girls reveals extensive disparities in grades, reading and writing test scores, and other measurable educational outcomes, and these disparities exist across family resources and race. Focusing on disadvantaged schoolchildren, I then examine whether time investments made by boys and girls related to computer use contribute to the gender gap in academic achievement. Data from several sources indicate that boys are less likely to use computers for schoolwork and are more likely to use computers for playing games, but are less likely to use computers for social networking and email than are girls. Using data from a large field experiment randomly providing free personal computers to schoolchildren for home use, I also test whether these differential patterns of computer use displace homework time and ultimately translate into worse educational outcomes among boys. No evidence is found indicating that personal computers crowd out homework time and effort for disadvantaged boys relative to girls. Home computers also do not have negative effects on educational outcomes such as grades, test scores, courses completed, and tardies for disadvantaged boys relative to girls.

Cover page of Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet

Technology and Education: Computers, Software, and the Internet


A substantial amount of money is spent on technology by schools, families and policymakers with the hope of improving educational outcomes. This chapter explores the theoretical and empirical literature on the impacts of technology on educational outcomes. The literature focuses on two primary contexts in which technology may be used for educational purposes: i) classroom use in schools, and ii) home use by students. Theoretically, ICT investment and CAI use by schools and the use of computers at home have ambiguous implications for educational achievement: expenditures devoted to technology necessarily offset inputs that may be more or less efficient, and time allocated to using technology may displace traditional classroom instruction and educational activities at home. However, much of the evidence in the schooling literature is based on interventions that provide supplemental funding for technology or additional class time, and thus favor finding positive effects. Nonetheless, studies of ICT and CAI in schools produce mixed evidence with a pattern of null results. Notable exceptions to this pattern occur in studies of developing countries and CAI interventions that target math rather than language. In the context of home use, early studies based on multivariate and instrumental variables approaches tend to find large positive (and in a few cases negative) effects while recent studies based on randomized control experiments tend to find small or null effects. Early research focused on developed countries while more recently several experiments have been conducted in developing countries.

Cover page of Immigration and Entrepreneurship

Immigration and Entrepreneurship


A growing body of research on immigrant entrepreneurship has developed over the past several years. In this chapter we provide an overview of the economics literature with respect to some of the most fundamental immigrant entrepreneurship issues as well as the empirical methods and data used. We review this literature through the lens of estimating the net contribution made by immigrant entrepreneurs to the host economy. Immigration is a very hotly debated topic because of the contrasting concerns over lowering wages for existing workers, increasingly public assistance rolls, security and changing the demographic makeup of host countries, and the need for less- and high-skilled workers, supporting an aging population, insourcing instead of outsourcing labor, and family reunification. Central to the debate is whether immigrants provide a net positive or net negative contribution to host economy. Partly fueled by this debate, an extremely large literature in economics examines the separate impacts of immigrants on various parts of the economy such as the labor market, public assistance, tax system, and educational systems. Since much of the attention of the relevant research has been on the United States, this will be the focus of our discussion.

Cover page of Heterogeneous Patterns of Financial Development:Implications for Asian Financial Integration

Heterogeneous Patterns of Financial Development:Implications for Asian Financial Integration


This paper analyzes detailed differences in patterns of financial development across the major Asian economies, including three of the region’s largest economies (China, Japan and South Korea), to understand how these differences might affect possibilities for greater regional financial integration. In particular, the paper argues that heterogeneous patterns of financial development, and not just differences in levels of financial development, may present an economic challenge to regional financial integration efforts, aside from possible political challenges. The paper provides background on the case for financial openness, Asian experiences with financial integration, and regional economic responses to external shocks. It also discusses policy options, including regulatory reform and coordination, and possible risk management policies and institutions, in the context of heterogeneous patterns of financial development.

Cover page of Punjab’s Agricultural Innovation Challenge

Punjab’s Agricultural Innovation Challenge


Fifty years ago, Punjab embarked on its famous Green Revolution, leading the rest of India in that innovation, and becoming the country's breadbasket. Now its economy and society are struggling by relative, and sometimes even absolute, measures. Using the original Green Revolution as a benchmark, this paper discusses five areas of challenge and promise for a new round of agricultural innovation in Punjab. These are: complexity of the agricultural economy, complementary inputs such as infrastructure, switching costs (including risks), balancing frontier innovation and adaptation, and the relative roles of the public and private sectors.

Cover page of Breaking the Mold: Thoughts on Punjab’s Future Economic Development

Breaking the Mold: Thoughts on Punjab’s Future Economic Development


The economy of Punjab state in India offers an interesting case study. Punjab has been for decades – and remains – one of India’s better-off states, and so it tends not be included in the primary focus of national programs meant to reduce poverty or spur economic development. But, Punjab’s relative economic position within India has declined rapidly in recent years. This decline has been accompanied by environmental problems and symptoms of deep social malaise. As will be argued in this paper, Punjab is facing a multidimensional crisis that requires urgent attention. This paper provides an overview of Punjab’s crisis, through an analysis of the dynamics of Punjab’s economic development as shaped by its political economy, its social dynamics and exogenous events since independence. It argues that one can understand both Punjab’s success in certain areas of agriculture and its subsequent relative decline in terms of the interaction of these factors. It uses this historical analysis to provide an assessment of Punjab’s future economic development, in terms of the structural changes that are needed, and how these can be encouraged or implemented by policy makers within the constraints of its current political-economic equilibrium.