Victor Bennett

Duke University
Fuqua School of Business

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Duke University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2019Flexible Production and Entry: Institutional, Technological, and Organizational Determinants
with Sharon Belenzon, Andrea Patacconi: w25659
Academics, the media, and policymakers have all raised concerns about the implications of human workers being replaced by machines or software. Few have discussed the implications of the reverse: firms’ ability to replace capital with workers. We show that this flexibility can help new firms overcome uncertainty and increase entrepreneurial entry. We develop a simple real options model where permissive labor regulations allow firms to take advantage of capital-labor substitutability by replacing ‘rigid’ capital with ‘flexible’ labor. The model highlights institutional, technological, and organizational preconditions to using this flexibility. Using a large and comprehensive dataset on entry by standalone firms and group affiliates, we provide evidence in support of the model.

Published: Sharon Belenzon & Victor Manuel Bennett & Andrea Patacconi, 2019. "Flexible Production and Entry: Institutional, Technological, and Organizational Determinants," Strategy Science, vol 4(3), pages 193-216.

June 2016Are Founder CEOs Good Managers?
with Megan Lawrence, Raffaella Sadun
in Measuring Entrepreneurial Businesses: Current Knowledge and Challenges, John Haltiwanger, Erik Hurst, Javier Miranda, and Antoinette Schoar, editors
We investigate the management practices adopted by firms where the founders are also the CEOs using data from the World Management Survey. We find that founder CEO firms have the lowest management scores of any owner-manager pair type and that this difference is associated with significant performance differentials. We propose three possible reasons for the managerial gap of founder CEO firms: a) informational problems preventing a clear understanding of the weakness of their firms’ managerial practices; b) institutional factors dampening the incentive to adopt managerial practices; and c) non-pecuniary returns to potentially inefficient but power-preserving practices. The findings presented in the paper provide support for a) and c), while we do not find evidence that the management pract...

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