When is Your Experience Valuable? Occupation-Industry Transitions and Self-Employment Success

Reprint No. 2018:33

Author(s): Sierdjan Koster and Martin AnderssonYear: 2018 Title: Journal of Evolutionary Economics Volume (No.): 28 (2) Pages: 265–286
Online article (restrictions may apply)

When is Your Experience Valuable? Occupation-Industry Transitions and Self-Employment Success Sierdjan Koster and Martin Andersson

The literature on employee spinoffs has, for a long time, stressed the importance of industry-specific skills and experiences in explaining the success of new firms. We argue that employees also develop skills that are associated with their occupation within an industry, and that success as an entrepreneur, therefore, is also contingent on the relation between the entrepreneurs’ previous occupation and the industry in which they operate as self-employed. Using matched employer-employee data, we develop a measure, occupational spin-offs, that accounts for this relation. An occupational spin-off is defined as a start-up in the most common industry, given the previous occupation of the founder. We then show that entrepreneurs starting occupational spinoffs enjoy above average income from self-employment and have longer spells as business owners.

Koster, Sierdjan and Martin Andersson (2018), "When is Your Experience Valuable? Occupation-Industry Transitions and Self-Employment Success". Journal of Evolutionary Economics 28(2), 265–286.

Martin Andersson


Ph: +46 455 38 5657
Mob: +46 733 67 3867

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State


This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se