Who Creates New Firms When Local Opportunities Arise?

We examine the characteristics of the individuals who become entrepreneurs when local opportunities arise. We identify local demand shocks by linking fluctuations in global commodity prices to municipality-level agricultural endowments in Brazil. We find that the firm creation response is mostly driven by young and skilled individuals. The characteristics of these responsive entrepreneurs are significantly different from those of average entrepreneurs in the economy. By structurally estimating a novel two-sector model of a local economy, we highlight how the demographic composition of the local population can significantly affect the entrepreneurial responsiveness of the economy.

01. January 2022

Authors Shai B. Bernstein Emanuele Colonnelli Davide Malacrino Timothy McQuade

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Professor Shai B. Bernstein, PhD

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