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I Can't Get No Satisfaction-Necessity Entrepreneurship and Procedural Utility

  • Joern Block
  • Philipp Koellinger

We study a unique sample of 1,547 nascent entrepreneurs in Germany and analyze which factors are associated with their self-reported satisfaction regarding their start-up. Our study identifies a new facet of procedural utility and offers new insights about the motivations and goals of nascent entrepreneurs. Most importantly, we identify a group of nascent entrepreneurs that 'cannot get satisfaction' with their start-up-not because their start-up fails to deliver financial returns, but because they did not choose to become entrepreneurs in the first place. This group of unsatisfied entrepreneurs includes individuals starting a business after a period of long-term unemployment and those individuals with a lack of better employment alternatives (necessity entrepreneurs). In addition, we provide additional evidence for the importance of both financial and non-financial incentives of entrepreneurs. While financial success is the most important determinant of start-up satisfaction, achievement of independence and creativity is also highly important. Our results emphasize the relevance of procedural utility for understanding economic behavior. We show that the process leading to a decision has an impact on the later satisfaction with the outcome of that decision. Copyright 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Kyklos.

Volume (Year): 62 (2009)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 191-209

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Handle: RePEc:bla:kyklos:v:62:y:2009:i:2:p:191-209
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  1. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 2000. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," NBER Working Papers 7487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
  3. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
  4. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, 05.
  5. Clark, Andrew E., 2001. "What really matters in a job? Hedonic measurement using quit data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 223-242, May.
  6. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, 2001. "What Can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," CESifo Working Paper Series 503, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
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