Small Business Economics

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 93–114 | Cite as

Spinoffs in Germany: characteristics, survival, and the role of their parents

  • Daniel Fackler
  • Claus Schnabel
  • Alexandra Schmucker


Using a 50 % sample of all private sector establishments in Germany, we report that spinoffs are larger, initially employ more skilled and more experienced workers, and pay higher wages than other startups. We investigate whether spinoffs are more likely to survive than other startups, and whether spinoff survival depends on the quality and size of their parent companies, as suggested in some of the theoretical and empirical literature. Our estimated survival models confirm that spinoffs are generally less likely to exit than other startups. We also distinguish between pulled spinoffs, where the parent company continues after they are founded, and pushed spinoffs, where the parent company stops operations. Our results indicate that in western and eastern Germany and in all sectors investigated, pulled spinoffs have a higher probability of survival than pushed spinoffs. Concerning the parent connection, we find that intra-industry spinoffs and spinoffs emerging from better-performing or smaller parent companies are generally less likely to exit.


Spinoffs Startups Firm exits Germany 

JEL Classifications

L2 D22 M13 C41 L26 



We would like to thank Joachim Wagner, participants in the research seminar at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, and two anonymous referees for very detailed and helpful comments on a previous version. The firm-level data used are confidential but not exclusive; see Spengler (2008) or Gruhl et al. (2012) for a description of how to access the data. To facilitate replication, the Stata do-files are available from the first author on request.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Fackler
    • 1
  • Claus Schnabel
    • 2
  • Alexandra Schmucker
    • 3
  1. 1.Halle Institute for Economic ResearchHalle (Saale)Germany
  2. 2.University of Erlangen-Nürnberg, Chair of Labour and Regional EconomicsNurembergGermany
  3. 3.Institute for Employment ResearchNurembergGermany

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