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Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions

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  • Michael Fritsch
  • Alina Rusakova

Abstract

We investigate the effect of broad personality traits - the Big Five - on an individual's decision to become self-employed. In particular, we test an overall indicator of the entrepreneurial personality. Since we find that the level of selfemployment varies considerably across professions, we also perform the analysis for different types of professions, namely, those classified as being in the "creative class" as compared to the noncreative class. The analysis is based on micro data for individuals of the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP). We find a significant association between personality traits and the propensity be become self-employed. However, the strengthof this link is fairly weak and differs across professions, indicating an important effect of an individual's profession on his or her decision to run an own business.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Alina Rusakova, 2010. "Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 343, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp343
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Antonio Terracciano, 2014. "Personality and the Gender Gap in Self-Employment: A Multi-Nation Study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(8), pages 1-11, August.
    2. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Rainer K. Silbereisen & Samuel D. Gosling & Jeff Potter, 2013. "The Regional Distribution and Correlates of an Entrepreneurship-Prone Personality Profile in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Socioecological Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 550, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Udo Brixy & Rolf Sternberg & Uwe Cantner, 2014. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 221-244, February.
    4. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    5. Gabriele Ruiu, 2014. "The perverse effect of fatalism on entrepreneurial selection," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 901-922.
    6. Judith Offerhaus, 2013. "The Type to Train?: Impacts of Personality Characteristics on Further Training Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 531, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    7. Martin Obschonka & Michael Stuetzer, 2017. "Integrating psychological approaches to entrepreneurship: the Entrepreneurial Personality System (EPS)," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 203-231, June.
    8. Annie Tubadji, 2021. "Culture and mental health resilience in times of COVID-19," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 34(4), pages 1219-1259, October.
    9. Koch, Michael & Park, Sarah & Zahra, Shaker A., 2021. "Career patterns in self-employment and career success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 36(1).
    10. Florin-Marius PAVELESCU & Valentina VASILE, 2012. "Change In Economic Structure, Expansion Of University Training And Development Of Non-Wage Employment," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 35(2(44)), pages 45-74, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; self-employment; personality traits; the Big Five; professions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution

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