Is American entrepreneurship in decline? That's the claim being made by Brookings Institution economists and The Washington Post's Robert Samuelson. A "precipitous drop" in new startups since 2006 has led to an economy oversaturated with mature companies and short on "creative disruption," they say.
"Holding all factors constant, we'd expect an economy with greater concentration in older firms and less in younger firms to exhibit lower productivity, potentially less innovation, and possibly fewer new jobs created than would otherwise be the case," worry the Brookings economists. But other factors are far from constant. A parallel trend to this startup nosedive is the rise of the freelance economy, Elizabeth Nolan Brown notes. And with it is coming a new conception of entrepreneurship.