Quality over quantity: Reexamining the link between entrepreneurship and job creation

Adam Seth Litwin, Phillip H. Phan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although much has been written about the quantity of jobs created by entrepreneurs, scholars have yet to examine the quality of these jobs. In this article, the authors begin to address this important issue by examining nearly 5,000 businesses that began operations in 2004. They investigate the extent to which nascent employers provide what many think of as a quality jobs those offering health care coverage and a retirement plan. The authors find that because of small scale, constrained resources, and protection from institutional pressures, start-up companies do not provide their employees with either of these proxies for job quality, and their likelihood of offering health or retirement benefits increases only marginally over their first six years of operation. The finding that entrepreneurs' impressive record of job creation is not matched by a similarly impressive outcome with respect to job quality challenges policymakers to ensure that entrepreneurs are encouraged to create quality employment opportunities in the course of creating new businesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)833-873
Number of pages41
JournalIndustrial and Labor Relations Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Employment relations
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Job creation
  • Job quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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