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The disposition to become an entrepreneur and the jacks-of-all-trades in social and human capital

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  • Backes-Gellner, Uschi
  • Moog, Petra

Abstract

This paper studies how an individual's composition of human and social capital affects his or her disposition to become an entrepreneur. Our theoretical analysis is an extension of Lazear's (2005) jack-of-all-trades theory in combination with the idea of bricolage of experiences and their effectuation in the disposition to become an entrepreneur. Our primary conclusion is that it is not individuals with a higher level of human or social capital but rather individuals with a more balanced and combined portfolio of human capital, social capital and experiences that are more disposed than others to become entrepreneurs. We use survey data from a sample of more than 2000 German students to test this hypothesis and find that the jacks-of-all-trades, i.e., individuals who are more balancing and combining different skills rather than specializing in a few, are more likely to become entrepreneurs. On the other hand, the masters-of-one, i.e., the specialists, are better off being employees and rightly prefer to do so.

Suggested Citation

  • Backes-Gellner, Uschi & Moog, Petra, 2013. "The disposition to become an entrepreneur and the jacks-of-all-trades in social and human capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 55-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:47:y:2013:i:c:p:55-72
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2013.08.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Silke Tegtmeier & Agnieszka Kurczewska & Jantje Halberstadt, 2016. "Are women graduates jacquelines-of-all-trades? Challenging Lazear’s view on entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 77-94, June.
    2. Kristian Nielsen, 2015. "Human capital and new venture performance: the industry choice and performance of academic entrepreneurs," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 453-474, June.
    3. Petra Moog & Arndt Werner & Stefan Houweling & Uschi Backes-Gellner, 2015. "The impact of skills, working time allocation and peer effects on the entrepreneurial intentions of scientists," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(3), pages 493-511, June.
    4. Schlepphorst, Susanne & Moog, Petra, 2014. "Left in the dark: Family successors’ requirement profiles in the family business succession process," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 358-371.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Jack-of-all-trades theory; Social capital;

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics
    • J4 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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