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Inhaltsbereich: Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung

Does working at a start-up pay off?



"Using representative linked employer-employee data for Germany, this paper analyzes short- and long-run differences in labor market performance of workers joining startups instead of incumbent firms. Applying entropy balancing and following individuals over ten years, we find huge and long-lasting drawbacks from entering a start-up in terms of wages, yearly income, and (un)employment. These disadvantages hold for all groups of workers and types of start-ups analyzed. Although our analysis of different subsequent career paths highlights important heterogeneities, it does not reveal any strategy through which workers joining start-ups can catch up with the income of similar workers entering incumbent firms." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Further information


  • Fackler, Daniel
  • Hölscher, Lisa
  • Schnabel, Claus
  • Weyh, Antje

Bibliographical information

Fackler, Daniel; Hölscher, Lisa; Schnabel, Claus; Weyh, Antje (2020): Does working at a start-up pay off? (IZA discussion paper, 13033), Bonn, 31 p.