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Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?

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  • Matthew J. Lindquist
  • Joeri Sol
  • Mirjam Van Praag

Abstract

We explore the origins of the intergenerational association in entrepreneurship using Swedish adoption data that allow us to quantify the relative importance of prebirth and postbirth factors. We find that parental entrepreneurship increases the probability of children's entrepreneurship by about 60%. For adoptees, both biological and adoptive parents make significant contributions to this association. These contributions, however, are quite different in size. Postbirth factors account for twice as much as prebirth factors in our decomposition of the intergenerational association in entrepreneurship. We investigate several candidate explanations for this large postbirth factor and present suggestive evidence in favor of role modeling.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Lindquist & Joeri Sol & Mirjam Van Praag, 2015. "Why Do Entrepreneurial Parents Have Entrepreneurial Children?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 269-296.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/678493
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    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • 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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