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Entrepreneurship: Can the Jack-of-All-Trades Attitude be Aquired?


  • Olmo Silva


Entrepreneurs are believed to be the ultimate engine of modern economic systems. Yet, the study ofentrepreneurship suffers from the lack of consensus on the most crucial question: what makes anentrepreneur? A recent theory developed by Edward Lazear suggests that individuals mastering abalanced set of talents across different fields, i.e. the Jacks-of-All-Trades (JATs), have a highprobability of becoming entrepreneurs. In this paper, I investigate whether the JAT Attitude is just aninnate ability or a skill that can be trained to enhance individuals' chances of becoming entrepreneurs.Using panel techniques, I show that changes in the spread of knowledge across different fields do notincrease the probability of becoming an entrepreneur. This suggests that, if the JAT Attitude mattersfor entrepreneurship, it is an innate and time-invariant individual attribute, rather than a skill that canbe acquired.

Suggested Citation

  • Olmo Silva, 2004. "Entrepreneurship: Can the Jack-of-All-Trades Attitude be Aquired?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0665, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0665

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Entrepreneurship; Occupational Choice; Skills;

    JEL classification:

    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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