Entrepreneurship: First Results from Russia
We study the determinants of the decision to become an entrepreneur in 7 Russian cities. Using data on 400 entrepreneurs and 440 non-entrepreneurs, we find considerable variation in the proportion of entrepreneurs, ranging from 6% of adult population in Nizhny Novgorod, to 16% in Perm and 18% in Taganrog. We find evidence that social network effects play a large role in determining entrepreneurial behavior: those individuals whose relatives and childhood friends are entrepreneurs are more likely to be entrepreneurs. Individual characteristics including academic success and educational background, performance on a test of cognitive ability, personal confidence, greed, and willingness to take risks are also important determinants of entrepreneurship in Russia, echoing the claims of Schumpeter. Certain aspects of the institutional environment play a role, but are secondary to individual characteristics.
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