Does Entrepreneurial Experience Dim Future Job Prospects?

An early release of one of the papers to be presented at the Academy of Management this year shares a surprising, and not terribly positive, insight: having entrepreneurial experience on one's CV may substantially decrease subsequent responses to job applications. 

The study* sent paired fictitious resumes to real job postings in the UK. All "applicants" had experience and current employment in medium-sized firms, but differed in whether they had "owned and managed a small HR consulting company" vs. worked as a "project manager for consulting teams providing HR services." A total of 192 applications evoked 22 positive responses, where 6 were for applicants from the self-employed group and 16 were for wage earners. Of the 15 positive responses for male applicants, 12 went to wage earners and only 3 to self employed. The upshot: "having previously been self employed in in itself a negative signal on the job market."

It's one of thousands of papers (including my own) that will be presented at the Academy of Management this August. I'm excited to learn more.

 *Koellinger, P. et al. 2012. Self Employed But Looking: A Labor Market Experiment. SSRN Working Paper.