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Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions

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Author Info

  • Michael Fritsch
  • Alina Rusakova

Abstract

We investigate the effect of broad personality traits¿the Big Five¿on an individual¿s decision to become self-employed. In particular, we test an overall indicator of the entrepreneurial personality. Since we find that the level of selfemployment varies considerably across professions, we also perform the analysis for different types of professions, namely, those classified as being in the ¿creative class¿ as compared to the noncreative class. The analysis is based on micro data for individuals of the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP). We find a significant association between personality traits and the propensity be become self-employed. However, the strength of this link is fairly weak and differs across professions, indicating an important effect of an individual¿s profession on his or her decision to run an own business.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.366336.de/diw_sp0343.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 343.

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Length: 38 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp343

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Keywords: Entrepreneurship; self-employment; personality traits; the Big Five; professions;

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References

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  1. Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
  2. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  3. P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
  4. Deborah Cobb-Clark & Michelle Tan, 2009. "Noncognitive Skills, Occupational Attainment, and Relative Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 612, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  5. Dohmen, Thomas J & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Schupp, Jürgen & Sunde, Uwe & Wagner, Gert Georg, 2006. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 5517, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Caliendo, Marco & Fossen, Frank M. & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2006. "Risk Attitudes of Nascent Entrepreneurs: New Evidence from an Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2168, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  8. 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.
  9. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
  10. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-79, August.
  11. repec:dgr:umaror:2008001 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Ekelund, Jesper & Johansson, Edvard & Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta & Lichtermann, Dirk, 2005. "Self-employment and risk aversion--evidence from psychological test data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 649-659, October.
  13. Randall K. Filer, 1986. "The role of personality and tastes in determining occupational structure," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(3), pages 412-424, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Simoes, Nadia & Moreira, Sandrina B. & Crespo, Nuno, 2013. "Individual Determinants of Self-Employment Entry – What Do We Really Know?," MPRA Paper 48403, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Brixy, Udo & Sternberg, Rolf & Cantner, Uwe, 2013. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," MPRA Paper 48277, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Judith Offerhaus, 2013. "The Type to Train?: Impacts of Personality Characteristics on Further Training Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 531, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  4. Florin-Marius PAVELESCU & Valentina VASILE, 2012. "Change In Economic Structure, Expansion Of University Training And Development Of Non-Wage Employment," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 35(2(44)), pages 45-74, December.
  5. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Rainer K. Silbereisen & Samuel D. Gosling & Jeff Potter, 2013. "The Regional Distribution and Correlates of an Entrepreneurship-Prone Personality Profile in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Socioecological Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 550, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).

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