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Risk, Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship

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  • Chihmao Hsieh

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Simon C. Parker

    (University of Western Ontario)

  • C. Mirjam van Praag

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper proposes that risk aversion encourages individuals to invest in balancedskill profiles, making them more likely to become entrepreneurs. By not havingtaken this possible linkage into account, previous research has underestimated the impactsboth of risk aversion and balanced skills on the likelihood individuals chooseentrepreneurship. Data on Dutch university graduates provides evidence which supportsthis contention. It thereby raises the possibility that even risk-averse peoplemight be suited to entrepreneurship; and it may also help explain why prior researchhas generated mixed evidence about the effects of risk aversion on selection into entrepreneurship.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 11-178/3.

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Date of creation: 19 Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20110178

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

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; jack-of-all-trades; risk; human capital; occupational choice;

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References

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  1. Thomas Hellmann, 2007. "When Do Employees Become Entrepreneurs?," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 53(6), pages 919-933, June.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of risk and trust attitudes," Munich Reprints in Economics, University of Munich, Department of Economics 20051, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
  4. Joop Hartog & Mirjam Van Praag & Justin Van Der Sluis, 2010. "If You Are So Smart, Why Aren't You an Entrepreneur? Returns to Cognitive and Social Ability: Entrepreneurs Versus Employees," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 947-989, December.
  5. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  6. Ramana Nanda & Jesper B. Sørensen, 2010. "Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1116-1126, July.
  7. Brown, Sarah & Dietrich, Michael & Ortiz-Nuñez, Aurora & Taylor, Karl, 2011. "Self-employment and attitudes towards risk: Timing and unobserved heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 425-433, June.
  8. Silva, Olmo, 2007. "The Jack-of-All-Trades entrepreneur: Innate talent or acquired skill?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 118-123, November.
  9. Åstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Jacks of all trades or Hobos?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-649, June.
  10. Dolton, Peter J & Makepeace, G H, 1990. "Self Employment among Graduates," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(1), pages 35-53, January.
  11. Parker, Simon C., 2008. "Entrepreneurship among married couples in the United States: A simultaneous probit approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 459-481, June.
  12. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Daniel Lechmann & Claus Schnabel, 2014. "Are the self-employed really jacks-of-all-trades? Testing the assumptions and implications of Lazear’s theory of entrepreneurship with German data," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 59-76, January.

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