“Millennials are The Least Entrepreneurial Generation Ever”


23rd May 2018

How the U.S. explains its problem of lessened productivity amid a technology revolution.
“We can see innovation everywhere but in the productivity statistics.” This sentence that paraphrases economist Robert Solow, is by now a common observation in Washington, D.C.
In the United States, policymakers worry about the fall in their national productivity.
Despite its recovery in 2017, it is still performing well under par by historical standards.
Productivity change in the nonfarm business sector, 1947-2017

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The government has an explanation. They claim that invention has grown at a speedy pace, but it has not diffused to firms. This disconnect, in turn, is related to with the lack of entrepreneurial spirit. New firms are not being created fast enough.
Share of New Firms As Percent of Total Firms 1977-2014

Source: Census Bureau Business Dynamics Statistics
The Administration blames Millennials for the slow diffusion. “Millennials are the least entrepreneurial generation ever,” said at a conference last December, the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, Kevin Hassett.
Small Business Administration data does support this view. “At age 30, less than four percent of Millennials reported self-employment as their primary job, compared to 5.4 percent at that age for Generation Xers and 6.7 percent for Baby Boomers,” reads a testimony before The Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship or the United States …

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