October 18th: Jorge Guzman

Entrepreneurial Migration by Kevin Bryan (Univ. Toronto) and Jorge Guzman (Columbia) [pdf]


We use cross-state business registrations to track the geographic movement of startups with high growth potential. In their first five years, 6.6% percent of these startups move across state borders. Though startup births are concentrated geographically, hubs like Silicon Valley and Boston on net lose startups to entrepreneurial migration. A revealed preference approach nonparametrically identi􏰅es the average utility of cities to migrant founders. University towns and startup hubs have low relative utility. This pattern is due neither to vertical sorting nor industrial specialization. The higher-quality startups move to lower-tax, business-friendly cities, while less growth-oriented startups move to low-tax, high-amenity cities.