Entrepreneurship and the Process of Firm's Entry, Survival, Growth: a Survey and Application to Family Firms



This lecture aims first of all at critically discussing the recent literature on firm formation and survival and the growth of new-born firms. The basic purpose is to single out the microeconomic entrepreneurial foundations of industrial dynamics (entry and exit) and to characterise the founder’s ex-ante features in terms of likely ex-post business performance. The main conclusion is that entry of new firms is heterogeneous with innovative entrepreneurs being found together with passive followers, over-optimist gamblers and even escapees from unemployment. Since founders are heterogeneous and may make “entry mistakes”, policy incentives should be highly selective, favouring nascent entrepreneurs endowed with progressive motivation and promising predictors of better business performance. This would lead to the least distortion in the post-entry market selection of efficient entrepreneurs.

The second part of the lecture deals with the survival of family firms facing the succession problem. It is shown that, even in the case of those which are characterized by the most favorable prospects of success, succession may affect the likelihood of survival of family firms.
Biographical information

Prof. Dr. Enrico Santarelli is a Full Professor of Economic Policy and Industrial Economics at the University of Bologna, Faculty of Statistics, and a Member of the Academic Board of the Ph.D. Program in the Department of Economics at the University of Bologna. He is also a Research Professor at the Max Planck Institute of Economics (Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group), and Adjunct Professor of Industrial Economics at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano, School of Economics and Management.

Prof. Santarelli earned his D.Phil. at the University of Sussex (UK). He has held faculty and research appointments at: University LUISS "Guido Carli"  (Rome), University of California at Berkeley (USA), University of Glasgow (UK), University "Gabriele d'Annunzio", Chieti (Teramo, Italy), University of Ancona (Italy), University of Urbino, and Stanford University (USA).

Prof. Santarelli’s research interests include: entrepreneurship and growth; small business economics; theoretical models of innovation and technological change; patent analysis; technological change in the data processing industry; technological change in consumer goods industries; skill-biased technological change; skill-biased organizational change; new-firm entry, growth, and survival; competition policy and antitrust legislation; FDI in transition economies; globalization and poverty; and labor economics.
Contact information:
dr. I. Verheul