Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade. Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45.0. The findings are broadly similar when considering high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits. Prior experience in the specific industry predicts much greater rates of entrepreneurial success. These findings strongly reject common hypotheses that emphasize youth as a key trait of successful entrepreneurs.
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Investigating the Use of Administrative Records in the CES
This paper compares responses to income questions on the Consumer Expenditure Survey with administrative tax records to study item and survey non-response bias.
The Distributional Effects of Minimum Wages
This work uses linked administrative and survey data to explore how state minimum wages affect income inequality and the distribution of earnings growth.
Reporting of Indian Health Service Coverage in the ACS
Compares reporting of Indian Health Service coverage in the American Community Survey to Indian Health Service Patient Registration data