NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Homophily in Entrepreneurial Team Formation

Paul A. Gompers, Kevin Huang, Sophie Q. Wang

NBER Working Paper No. 23459
Issued in May 2017
NBER Program(s):   CF   PR

We study the role of homophily in group formation. Using a unique dataset of MBA students, we observe homophily in ethnicity and gender increases the probability of forming teams by 25%. Homophily in education and past working experience increases the probability of forming teams by 17% and 11 % respectively. Homophily in education and working experience is stronger among males than females. Further, we examine the causal impact of homophily on team performance. Homophily in ethnicity increases team performance by lifting teams in bottom quantiles to median performance quantiles, but it does not increase the chance of being top performers. Our findings have implications for understanding the lack of diversity in entrepreneurship and venture capital industry.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23459

 
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