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Who Are China's Entrepreneurs?

  • Djankov, Simeon
  • Qian, Yingyi
  • Roland, Gérard
  • Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina

Social scientists studying the determinants of entrepreneurship have emphasized three distinct perspectives: the role of institutions, the role of social networks and the role of personal characteristics. We conduct a survey from five large developing and transition economies to better understand entrepreneurship in view of these three perspectives. Using data from a pilot study with over 2,000 interviews in 7 cities across China, we find that controlling for institutional environment entrepreneurs in China are much more likely to have family members who are entrepreneurs as well as childhood friends who became entrepreneurs, suggesting that social environment plays an important role in entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurs also differ strongly from non-entrepreneurs in their attitudes toward risks and their work-leisure preferences, echoing Schumpeter. Finally, failed entrepreneurs score the worst on aptitude tests, but have the best self-reported performance in school and perceive the business environment as least favourable.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5706.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5706
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  1. Djankov, Simeon & La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "The Regulation of Entry," Working Paper Series rwp01-015, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Roland, Gérard & Verdier, Thierry, 2000. "Law Enforcement and Transition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2501, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gérard Roland, 2004. "Transition and Economics: Politics, Markets, and Firms," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026268148x, June.
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. Simon Johnson & John McMillan & Christopher Woodruff, 2002. "Property Rights and Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1335-1356, December.
  6. Djankov, Simeon & Qian, Yingyi & Roland, Gérard & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in China and Russia Compared," CEPR Discussion Papers 5705, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Frye, Timothy & Zhuravskaya, Ekaterina, 2000. "Rackets, Regulation, and the Rule of Law," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(2), pages 478-502, October.
  8. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
  9. Simeon Djankov & Edward Miguel & Yingyi Qian & Gérard Roland & Ekaterina Zhuravskaya, 2005. "Who are Russia's Entrepreneurs?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 587-597, 04/05.
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