Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date


Working Paper Number

WP #09014, July 2009; Old working paper #13086


This study analyzes whether economic conditions at the time of labor market entry affect entrepreneurship, using difference in business start-ups between cohorts of college students graduating in boom or bust economic conditions. Those graduating during an economic bust tend to delay their business start-ups relative to boom period graduates by about two years. Our results are consistent with additional findings that higher unemployment rates at time of graduation significantly delay the first business start-up across all college graduation cohorts over the 1982-2004 period. The adverse effect of a bust is temporary, delaying but not preventing self-employment over the life-cycle.

JEL Classification

L26, J20

File Format



27 pages

Included in

Economics Commons