This paper investigates whether and how a recent entrepreneurial exit relates to subsequent engagement. We discriminate between six levels of engagement including none, potential, intentional, nascent, young and established entrepreneurship. We use individual-level data for 24 countries that participated in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor during 2004, 2005 and 2006 (some 350,000 observations). Our findings indeed show that a recent exit decreases the probability of undertaking no entrepreneurial activity, whereas it substantially increases the probabilities of being involved in all other engagement levels. Investigating the conditions under which an exit increases engagement in entrepreneurial activities, we find that the probability of entrepreneurial engagement after exit is higher for males, for persons who know an entrepreneur and for persons with a low fear of failure. Educational attainment does not seem to be relevant. Moreover, there exists large cross-country variation in the probability of entrepreneurial engagement after exit.

ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Evolutionary Economics
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Hessels, J., Grilo, I., Thurik, R., & van der Zwan, P. (2011). Entrepreneurial exit and entrepreneurial engagement. Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 21(3), 447–471. doi:10.1007/s00191-010-0190-4