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If you are so smart, why aren't you an Entrepreneur?

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Author Info

  • Joop Hartog

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Mirjam van Praag

    ()
    (University of Amsterdam, IZA, and Max Planck Institute of Economics)

  • Justin van der Sluis

    (University of Amsterdam, and IZA)

Abstract

How valuable are cognitive and social abilities for entrepreneurs’ incomes as compared to employees? We answer three questions: (1) To what extent does a composite measure of ability affect an entrepreneur's earnings relative to employees? (2) Do different cognitive abilities (e.g. math ability, language ability) and social ability affect earnings of entrepreneurs and employees differently?, and (3) Does the balance in these measured ability levels affect an individual's earnings? Our individual fixed-effects estimates of the differential returns to ability for spells in entrepreneurship versus wage employment account for selectivity into entrepreneurial positions as determined by fixed individual characteristics. General ability has a stronger impact on entrepreneurial incomes than on wages. Entrepreneurs and employees benefit from different sets of specific abilities: Language and clerical abilities have a stronger impact on wages, whereas mathematical, social and technical ability affect entrepreneurial incomes more strongly. The balance in the various kinds of ability also generates a higher income, but only for entrepreneurs: This finding supports Lazear's Jack-of-all-Trades theory. This discussion paper resulted in a publication in the Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 19(4), 947-89.

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File URL: http://papers.tinbergen.nl/08073.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 08-073/3.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20080073

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Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl

Related research

Keywords: (Non-)Cognitive abilities; intelligence; earnings; entrepreneur(ship); wage employment; income differentials;

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References

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  1. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
  2. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2008. "Education And Entrepreneurship Selection And Performance: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 795-841, December.
  3. C. Mirjam van Praag & Peter H. Versloot, 2007. "What is the Value of Entrepreneurship? A Review of Recent Research," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-061, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  4. Murnane, Richard J. & Willett, John B. & Braatz, M. Jay & Duhaldeborde, Yves, 2001. "Do different dimensions of male high school students' skills predict labor market success a decade later? Evidence from the NLSY," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 311-320, August.
  5. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  6. Silva, Olmo, 2006. "The Jack-of-All-Trades Entrepreneur: Innate Talent or Acquired Skill?," IZA Discussion Papers 2264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Paglin, Morton & Rufolo, Anthony M, 1990. "Heterogeneous Human Capital, Occupational Choice, and Male-Female Earnings Differences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 123-44, January.
  8. Simon C. Parker & C. Mirjam van Praag, 2006. "The entrepreneur’s mode of entry: Business takeover or new venture start?," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-26, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  9. McIntosh, Steven & Vignoles, Anna, 2001. "Measuring and Assessing the Impact of Basic Skills on Labour Market Outcomes," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 453-81, July.
  10. Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Jacks of all trades or Hobos?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-649, June.
  11. Parker,Simon C., 2004. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521828130, November.
  12. van der Sluis, Justin & van Praag, Mirjam & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 2007. "Why Are the Returns to Education Higher for Entrepreneurs than for Employees?," IZA Discussion Papers 3058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
  14. Paul J. Taubman & Terence Wales, 1974. "Higher Education and Earnings: College as an Investment and Screening Device," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number taub74-1.
  15. Karsten Hansen & James J. Heckman & Kathleen J. Mullen, 2003. "The Effect of Schooling and Ability on Achievement Test Scores," NBER Working Papers 9881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Wagner, Joachim, 2002. "Testing Lazear’s Jack-of-All-Trades View of Entrepreneurship with German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 592, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Sattinger, Michael, 1975. "Comparative Advantage and the Distributions of Earnings and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 43(3), pages 455-68, May.
  18. Hause, John C, 1972. "Earnings Profile: Ability and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S108-S38, Part II, .
  19. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  20. Gerrit Mueller & Erik Plug, 2006. "Estimating the effect of personality on male and female earnings," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 3-22, October.
  21. John M. Barron & Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black, 2006. "Selective Counteroffers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 385-410, July.
  22. Baron, Robert A. & Markman, Gideon D., 2003. "Beyond social capital: the role of entrepreneurs' social competence in their financial success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 41-60, January.
  23. Borghans Lex & Lee Duckworth Angela & Heckman James J. & Weel Bas ter, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
  24. Hartog, Joop, 2001. "On Human Capital and Individual Capabilities," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(4), pages 515-40, December.
  25. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  26. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Dirk Dohse & Sascha G. Walter, 2010. "The role of entrepreneurship education and regional context in forming entrepreneurial intentions," Working Papers 2010/18, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Douhan, Robin & van Praag, Mirjam, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, Wage Employment and Control in an Occupational Choice Framework," IZA Discussion Papers 4211, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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