Trends in Firm Entry and New Entrepreneurship in Canada

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Recently released data show downward trends for both the firm entry rate and the rate of new entrepreneurship since the early 1980s in Canada. This paper documents these trends and discusses potential explanations. A shift-share analysis suggests that changes to Canada’s industrial and demographic structures cannot explain the long-term downward trends, although population aging accounts for part of the decline in new entrepreneurship since around 2000. The paper also discusses other factors potentially contributing to the downward trends: increased industrial concentration, changing labour market conditions, an increased college wage premium and higher student debt. In-depth analysis of these factors is left for future research.