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Differences between entrepreneurs and employees in their educational paths

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Author Info

  • Uschi Backes-Gellner

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Simone Tuor

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

  • Daniela Wettstein

    ()
    (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)

Abstract

This paper examines whether individuals who become either entrepreneurs or employees follow systematically different educational paths to a given educational level. Following Lazear’s jack-of-all-trades theory, we expect that entrepreneurs aim at a balanced set of different skills (academic or vocational), while employees specialize in one skill. This means that entrepreneurs follow educational paths that combine different types of education, while employees follow same-type paths while climbing up the educational ladder. We use the Swiss Labor Force Survey to test our hypothesis. Our em-pirical findings are in line with Lazear’s theory. Individuals who change between different types of education are more likely to become entrepreneurs. Thus, the permeability of a national educational system is one crucial determinant for entrepreneurship.

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File URL: http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0050_lhwpaper.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU) in its series Economics of Education Working Paper Series with number 0050.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0050

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Related research

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Jack-of-all-trades; Educational paths;

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  1. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Petra Moog, 2007. "Who chooses to become an entrepreneur? The Jacks-of-all-Trades in Social and Human Capital," Working Papers 0076, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
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Cited by:
  1. Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Schmitt-Rodermund, Eva, 2012. "Balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs," MPRA Paper 37524, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Elisabeth Bublitz & Florian Noseleit, 2011. "The Skill Balancing Act: Determinants of and Returns to Balanced Skills," Jena Economic Research Papers 2011-025, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.

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