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“It is strange to call me a college dropout in all but the most literal sense. I went for 3 years and took enough courses to graduate.” Bill Gates during a Reddit AMA session in February 2014.
Are college dropouts successful entrepreneurs? Other than anecdotal evidence on illustrious college dropouts who managed to become self-made billionaires, there is only limited empirical evidence to answer this question. This paper addresses this issue by investigating the relationship between college dropout or graduation and entrepreneurship activity as well as performance. Using information from the Danish labor market register, we identify college students, whether these students graduate, and if they registered a new venture. We find that a larger share of dropouts starts a business, but this reflects the endogeneity of the decision to exit from college. On average, becoming an entrepreneur does not allow dropouts to escape from their punishment in the labor market.
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- Steve Jobs or No Jobs? Entrepreneurial activity and performance among Danish college dropouts and graduates
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