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Do Startups Provide Employment Opportunities for Disadvantaged Workers?

This paper analyzes whether startups offer job opportunities to workers potentially facing labor market problems. It compares the hiring patterns of startups and incumbents in the period 2003 to 2014 using administrative linked employer-employee data for Germany that allow to take the complete employment biographies of newly hired workers into account. The results indicate that young plants are more likely than incumbents to hire older and foreign applicants as well as workers who have instable employment biographies, come from unemployment or outside the labor force, or were affected by a plant closure. However, an analysis of entry wages reveals that disadvantageous worker characteristics come along with higher wage penalties in startups than in incumbents. Therefore, even if startups provide employment opportunities for certain groups of disadvantaged workers, the quality of these jobs in terms of initial remuneration seems to be low.

01. May 2018

Authors Daniel Fackler Michaela Fuchs Lisa Hölscher Claus Schnabel

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Do Start-ups Provide Employment Opportunities for Disadvantaged Workers?

Daniel Fackler Michaela Fuchs Lisa Hölscher Claus Schnabel

in: Industrial and Labor Relations Review, forthcoming

Abstract

This article compares the hiring patterns of start-ups and incumbent firms to analyze whether start-ups offer relatively more job opportunities to disadvantaged workers. Using administrative linked employer–employee data for Germany that provide the complete employment biographies of newly hired workers, the authors show that young firms are more likely than incumbents to hire applicants who are older, foreign, or unemployed, or who have unstable employment histories, arrive from outside the labor force, or were affected by a plant closure. Analysis of entry wages shows that penalties for these disadvantaged workers, however, are higher in start-ups than in incumbent firms. Therefore, even if start-ups provide employment opportunities for certain groups of disadvantaged workers, the quality of these jobs in terms of initial remuneration appears to be low.

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