Demographic Origins of the Startup Deficit
We propose a simple explanation for the long-run decline in the startup rate. It was caused by a slowdown in labor supply growth since the late 1970s, largely pre-determined by demographics. This channel explains roughly two-thirds of the decline and why incumbent firm survival and average growth over the lifecycle have been little changed. We show these results in a standard model of firm dynamics and test the mechanism using shocks to labor supply growth across states. Finally, we show that a longer startup rate series imputed using historical establishment tabulations rises over the 1960-70s period of accelerating labor force growth.
You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w25874