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On the origins of entrepreneurship: Evidence from sibling correlations

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  • Vladasel, Theodor
  • Lindquist, Matthew J.
  • Sol, Joeri
  • van Praag, Mirjam

Abstract

Despite the consensus that entrepreneurship runs in the family, we lack evidence regarding the total importance of family and community background, as well as the relative importance of different background influences that affect entrepreneurship. We draw on human capital formation theories to argue that families and communities provide a salient context for the development of individual entrepreneurial skills and preferences, beyond the existing focus on parental entrepreneurship. We posit that early influences are more important than later influences and propose a hierarchy of family influences, whereby genes have the largest explanatory power, followed by parental entrepreneurship, neighborhoods, and parental resources, and finally by parental immigration, family structure, and sibling peers. Finally, we argue that the higher human and financial capital intensity of incorporated relative to unincorporated entrepreneurship predictably alters the hierarchy of family influences, as does gender. Sibling correlations estimated on Swedish register data confirm our hypotheses.

Suggested Citation

  • Vladasel, Theodor & Lindquist, Matthew J. & Sol, Joeri & van Praag, Mirjam, 2021. "On the origins of entrepreneurship: Evidence from sibling correlations," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 36(5).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbvent:v:36:y:2021:i:5:s0883902619301247
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2020.106017
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    1. Marco Caliendo & Stefan Tübbicke, 2020. "New evidence on long-term effects of start-up subsidies: matching estimates and their robustness," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(4), pages 1605-1631, October.
    2. Giuseppe Criaco & Philipp Sieger & Karl Wennberg & Francesco Chirico & Tommaso Minola, 2017. "Parents’ performance in entrepreneurship as a “double-edged sword” for the intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(4), pages 841-864, December.
    3. Caliendo, Marco & Tübbicke, Stefan, 2019. "Do Start-Up Subsidies for the Unemployed Affect Participants' Well-Being? A Rigorous Look at (Un-)Intended Consequences of Labor Market Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 12755, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Mohammad H. Sepahvand & Roujman Shahbazian, 2021. "Sibling correlation in risk attitudes: evidence from Burkina Faso," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 19(1), pages 45-72, March.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Self-employment; Family background; Sibling correlations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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