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Personality Characteristics of Self-Employed; An Empirical Study

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  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk

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  • Niels Noorderhaven

Abstract

This paper is concerned with the personality characteristics of self-employed. Most existing studies on personality characteristics of entrepreneurs concentrate on factors like age, educational profile, and motivations to become self-employed. There is a lack of significant empirical findings to claim that entrepreneurs are psychologically different from the general population. Based on a large sample of 14,846 individuals, we compare self-employed with the general population and with wage- and salary earners. We empirically show that entrepreneurs differ from the general population and wage- and salary earners in a number of characteristics. Entrepreneurs are more individually oriented than the rest of the population. Individual responsibility and effort are distinguishing characteristics. When asked about important qualities that children can be encouraged to learn at home, entrepreneurs answer that it is important to teach children an ethic of working hard. Except for the latter characteristic, the same holds if we compare self-employed with wage- and salary earners. Copyright Springer 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Niels Noorderhaven, 2005. "Personality Characteristics of Self-Employed; An Empirical Study," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(2), pages 159-167, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:24:y:2005:i:2:p:159-167
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-003-3806-3
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Colombo, Massimo G & Delmastro, Marco, 2001. "Technology-Based Entrepreneurs: Does Internet Make a Difference?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 177-190, May.
    2. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Darja Reuschke, 2011. "Self-Employment and Geographical Mobility in Germany," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 417, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Peter van der Zwan & Ingrid Verheul & Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Progress: Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder in Europe and the US," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-070/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 17 Mar 2010.
    3. Mooradian, Todd & Matzler, Kurt & Uzelac, Borislav & Bauer, Florian, 2016. "Perspiration and inspiration: Grit and innovativeness as antecedents of entrepreneurial success," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 232-243.
    4. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Niels Noorderhaven, 2004. "The role of dissatisfaction and per capita income in explaining self-employment across 15 European countries," Scales Research Reports N200407, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    5. Belas Jaroslav & Kljucnikov Aleksandr, 2016. "The Most Important Attributes Of Entrepreneurs. Case Study Of The Environment Of Czech Sme," International Journal of Entrepreneurial Knowledge, VSP Ostrava, a. s., vol. 4(1), pages 104-111, June.
    6. Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2005. "Latent and actual entrepreneurship in Europe and the US: some recent developments," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    7. Brigitte Hoogendoorn & Cornelius A. Rietveld & André Stel, 2016. "Belonging, believing, bonding, and behaving: the relationship between religion and business ownership at the country level," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 519-550, July.
    8. Paul Walker, 2016. "Simple Models of a Human-Capital-Based Firm: a Reference Point Approach," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 7(1), pages 219-247, March.
    9. Backman, Mikaela & Karlsson, Charlie, 2013. "Exploration of Wisdom Ages: Firm survival," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 339, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
    10. Kim, GiSeung, 2007. "The analysis of self-employment levels over the life-cycle," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 397-410, July.
    11. Ingrid Verheul & Joern Block & Katrin Burmeister-Lamp & Roy Thurik & Henning Tiemeier & Roxana Turturea, 2015. "ADHD-like behavior and entrepreneurial intentions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 85-101, June.
    12. Lee, Lena & Wong, Poh Kam, 2006. "How does An Entrepreneur’s Ability Influence the Propensity to Exploit Novel Opportunities? The Moderating Role of Personality and Environment," MPRA Paper 597, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Lukas Matejovsky & Sandeep Mohapatra & Bodo Steiner, 2014. "The Dynamic Effects of Entrepreneurship on Regional Economic Growth: Evidence from Canada," Growth and Change, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 611-639, December.
    14. Petrik Runst, 2013. "Post-Socialist Culture and Entrepreneurship," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 72(3), pages 593-626, July.
    15. Joyce Koe Hwee Nga & Gomathi Shamuganathan, 2010. "The Influence of Personality Traits and Demographic Factors on Social Entrepreneurship Start Up Intentions," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 95(2), pages 259-282, August.
    16. Verheul, Ingrid & Thurik, Roy & Grilo, Isabel & van der Zwan, Peter, 2012. "Explaining preferences and actual involvement in self-employment: Gender and the entrepreneurial personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 325-341.
    17. Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik, 2005. "Entrepreneurial engagement levels in the European Union," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    18. Thomas Lange, 2012. "Job satisfaction and self-employment: autonomy or personality?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(2), pages 165-177, February.
    19. Anne Annink & Laura Dulk & Bram Steijn, 2016. "Work–Family Conflict Among Employees and the Self-Employed Across Europe," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 126(2), pages 571-593, March.
    20. Jhonny Villafuerte & Eder Intriago, 2016. "Productive Matrix Change in Ecuador and the Petroleum Crisis. Case Study: Entrepreneurs and Productive Associations," Journal of Business, LAR Center Press, vol. 1(1), pages 1-11, March.
    21. Wyrwich, Michael, 2013. "Can socioeconomic heritage produce a lost generation with regard to entrepreneurship?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 667-682.

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