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Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions

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  • Michael Fritsch

    ()
    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Alina Rusakova

    ()
    (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

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 self-employment 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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Paper provided by Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics in its series Jena Economic Research Papers with number 2010-075.

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Date of creation: 02 Nov 2010
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Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-075

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

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  1. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2007. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 12846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. 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).
  4. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009. "Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
  5. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. 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.
  7. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2009. "Noncognitive Skills, Occupational Attainment, and Relative Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 4289, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
  9. Philipp Köllinger & Maria Minniti & Christian Schade, 2005. ""I Think I Can, I Think I Can": Overconfidence and Entrepreneurial Behavior," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 501, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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.
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Udo Brixy & Rolf Sternberg & Uwe Cantner, 2014. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 221-244, February.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Gabriele Ruiu, 2014. "The perverse effect of fatalism on entrepreneurial selection," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 901-922.
  5. 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).
  6. 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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