IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Experiments on Entrepreneurial Decision Making: A Different Lens Through Which to Look at Entrepreneurship


  • Schade, Christian
  • Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin


In this paper, we propose that researchers might analyze key questions in entrepreneurship as problems of decision making. We believe that this allows for new insights. Experiments are especially suited to empirically test hypotheses derived within such a framework. In this paper, we thus introduce the decision-making perspective as well as general characteristics of the experimental method. We also discuss existing experimental studies in entrepreneurship with respect to the use of a decision-making perspective and specifics of their experimental designs. Finally, we present "research cases" that demonstrate the shift in perspective that occurs when common questions in entrepreneurship are analyzed through the lens of decision making. We conclude that entrepreneurial decision making (EDM) bears the potential of a scientific paradigm. This paper is intended to stimulate theory development to establish such a paradigm and (experimental) research within the perspective of EDM.

Suggested Citation

  • Schade, Christian & Burmeister-Lamp, Katrin, 2009. "Experiments on Entrepreneurial Decision Making: A Different Lens Through Which to Look at Entrepreneurship," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 5(2), pages 81-134, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000019

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Irwin Bernhardt, 1994. "Comparative Advantage in Self-Employment and Paid Work," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(2), pages 273-289, May.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    3. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
    4. Robert J. MacCulloch & Rafael Di Tella & Andrew J. Oswald, 2001. "Preferences over Inflation and Unemployment: Evidence from Surveys of Happiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 335-341, March.
    5. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    6. David G. Blanchflower & Jon Wainwright, 2005. "An Analysis of the Impact of Affirmative Action Programs on Self-Employment in the Construction Industry," NBER Working Papers 11793, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    8. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    9. Parker, Simon C, 2002. "Do Banks Ration Credit to New Enterprises? And Should Governments Intervene? President's Lecture Delivered at the Annual General Meeting of the Scottish Economic Society 4-5 September 2001," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(2), pages 162-195, May.
    10. Kidd, Michael P, 1993. "Immigrant Wage Differentials and the Role of Self-Employment in Australia," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(60), pages 92-115, June.
    11. Erik Hurst & Annamaria Lusardi, 2004. "Liquidity Constraints, Household Wealth, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(2), pages 319-347, April.
    12. David G. Blanchflower & Phillip B. Levine & David J. Zimmerman, 2003. "Discrimination in the Small-Business Credit Market," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 930-943, November.
    13. Ken S. Cavalluzzo, 2002. "Competition, Small Business Financing, and Discrimination: Evidence from a New Survey," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 641-680, October.
    14. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2000. " When Less Is More: Distinguishing between Entrepreneurial Choice and Performance," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(5), pages 565-587, December.
    15. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
    16. Ari Hyytinen & Olli-Pekka Ruuskanen, 2007. "Time Use of the Self-Employed," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 105-122, February.
    17. Taylor, Mark P, 2001. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains in Britain: Evidence from Panel Data," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 539-565, November.
    18. Wolfers, Justin, 2003. "Is Business Cycle Volatility Costly? Evidence from Surveys of Subjective Well-Being," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(1), pages 1-26, Spring.
    19. Yannis Georgellis & John Sessions & Nikolaos Tsitsianis, 2005. "Windfalls, Wealth, and the Transition to Self-Employment," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(5), pages 407-428, December.
    20. Nzinga Broussard & Ralph Chami & Gregory Hess, 2015. "(Why) Do self-employed parents have more children?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 297-321, June.
    21. 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.
    22. Yannis Georgellis & Howard Wall, 2005. "Gender differences in self-employment," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 321-342.
    23. Cowling, Marc & Mitchell, Peter, 1997. "The Evolution of U.K. Self-Employment: A Study of Government Policy and the Role of the Macroeconomy," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(4), pages 427-442, September.
    24. Borooah, Vani K & Hart, Mark, 1999. "Factors Affecting Self-Employment among Indian and Black Caribbean Men in Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 111-129, September.
    25. Holtz-Eakin Douglas & Rosen Harvey S, 2005. "Cash Constraints and Business Start-Ups: Deutschmarks Versus Dollars," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-28, February.
    26. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2002. "Self-Employment Wealth and Job Creation: The Roles of Gender, Non-pecuniary Motivation and Entrepreneurial Ability," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 255-270, November.
    27. Johansson, Edvard, 2000. " Self-Employment and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Finland," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 102(1), pages 123-134, March.
    28. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
    29. Francis Green & Nicholas Tsitsianis, 2005. "An Investigation of National Trends in Job Satisfaction in Britain and Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 43(3), pages 401-429, September.
    30. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
    31. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    32. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-467, June.
    33. Taylor, Mark P, 1996. "Earnings, Independence or Unemployment: Why Become Self-Employed?," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(2), pages 253-266, May.
    34. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. "Latent entrepreneurship across nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 680-691, May.
    35. Edvard Johansson, 2000. "Self-employment and the predicted earnings differential - evidence from Finland," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 45-55, Spring.
    36. Ken Cavalluzzo & Linda Cavalluzzo & John D. Wolken, 1999. "Competition, small business financing, and discrimination: evidence from a new survey," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-25, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    37. Robert W. Fairlie & Bruce D. Meyer, 2000. "Trends in Self-Employment among White and Black Men during the Twentieth Century," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 643-669.
    38. Clark, Kenneth & Drinkwater, Stephen, 2000. "Pushed out or pulled in? Self-employment among ethnic minorities in England and Wales," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 603-628, September.
    39. Black, Jane & de Meza, David & Jeffreys, David, 1996. "House Price, the Supply of Collateral and the Enterprise Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 60-75, January.
    40. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-1526, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gruner, Sven & Hirschauer, Norbert & Mußhoff, Oliver, 2014. "Potenzial Verschiedener Experimenteller Designs Für Die Politik-Folgenabschätzung," 54th Annual Conference, Goettingen, Germany, September 17-19, 2014 187601, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    2. Urbig, Diemo & Weitzel, Utz & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Witteloostuijn, Arjen van, 2012. "Exploiting opportunities at all cost? Entrepreneurial intent and externalities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 379-393.
    3. Hülsbeck, Marcel & Lehmann, Erik E. & Weiß, Dominik & Wirsching, Katharine, 2011. "Innovationsverhalten in Familienunternehmen," UO Working Papers 02-11, University of Augsburg, Chair of Management and Organization.
    4. Sandri, Serena & Schade, Christian & Mußhoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin, 2010. "Holding on for too long? An experimental study on inertia in entrepreneurs' and non-entrepreneurs' disinvestment choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 30-44, October.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000019. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alet Heezemans). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.