Based on a longitudinal database we test the "liability of adolescence" hypothesis which states that new firm hazard rates follow an inverted U-shaped pattern. That is, the hazard rate is low for the initial period; the end of adolescence is marked by a hazard maximum, from which the rate declines monotonically. We use a log-logistic model which shows that the "liability of adolescence" argument describes the hazard rates of new establishments for all two and three-digit industries fairly well. Further, the rate shows that the desegregation of industries matters, and considerable differences are found within and across two and three-digit low-, moderate- and high-tech industries. In assessing the effect of market environment conditions on risk we find that risk to be elevated in a relatively large number of two-digit low- and high-tech industries in the presence of scale economies, but it is substantially reduced in moderate-tech industries. By contrast, the hazard rate tends to be reduced for quite a large number of three-digit low-, moderate- and high-tech industries in comparison with the two-digit industries, indicating a longer adolescence. The influence of start-up size in reducing the hazard rate is apparently similar between two and three digit low-, moderate- and high-tech industries. The impact of market growth on the risk of failure is not much different for both two and three-digit low-, moderate- and high-tech industries.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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