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The Regional Distribution and Correlates of an Entrepreneurship-Prone Personality Profile in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Socioecological Perspective

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  • Martin Obschonka
  • Eva Schmitt-Rodermund
  • Rainer K. Silbereisen
  • Samuel D. Gosling
  • Jeff Potter

Abstract

In recent years the topic entrepreneurship has become a major focus in the social sciences, with renewed interest in the links between personality and entrepreneurship. Taking a socioecological perspective to psychology, which emphasizes the role of social habitats and their interactions with mind and behavior, we investigated regional variation in and correlates of an entrepreneurship-prone Big Five profile. Specifically, we analyzed personality data collected from over half a million U.S. residents (N = 619,397) as well as public archival data on state-level entrepreneurial activity (i.e., business-creation and self-employment rates). Results revealed that an entrepreneurship-prone personality profile is regionally clustered. This geographical distribution corresponds to the pattern that can be observed when mapping entrepreneurial activity across the U.S.. Indeed, the state-level correlation (N = 51) between an entrepreneurial personality structure and entrepreneurial activity was positive in direction, substantial in magnitude, and robust even when controlling for regional economic prosperity. These correlations persisted at the level of U.S. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (N = 15) and were replicated in independent German (N = 19,842; 14 regions) and British samples (N = 15,617; 12 regions). In contrast to these profile-based analyses, an analysis linking the individual Big Five dimensions to regional measures of entrepreneurial activity did not yield consistent findings. Discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for interdisciplinary theory development and practical applications.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp550
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    1. repec:kap:jculte:v:41:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10824-016-9277-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Audretsch, David B. & Wyrwich, Michael & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Coombes, Mike & Shaw-Taylor, Leigh & Satchell, Max, 2016. "Industry structure, entrepreneurship, and culture: An empirical analysis using historical coalfields," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-72.
    3. Obschonka, Martin & Stützer, Michael & Peter, Rentfrow & Jeff, Potter & Samuel, Gosling, 2017. "Did Strategic Bombing in the Second World War lead to ‘German Angst’? A large-scale empirical test across 89 German cities," MPRA Paper 83680, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. repec:eee:joepsy:v:62:y:2017:i:c:p:313-328 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9787-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Staniewski, Marcin W. & Janowski, Konrad & Awruk, Katarzyna, 2016. "Entrepreneurial personality dispositions and selected indicators of company functioning," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(5), pages 1939-1943.
    7. repec:eee:poleco:v:51:y:2018:i:c:p:27-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2017. "Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship: Causes, Effects, and Directions for Future Research," Jena Economic Research Papers 2017-003, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Oliver Budzinski & Julia Pannicke, 2017. "Culturally biased voting in the Eurovision Song Contest: Do national contests differ?," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 41(4), pages 343-378, November.
    10. repec:kap:sbusec:v:48:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9798-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Michael Wyrwich & Michael Stuetzer & Rolf Sternberg, 2016. "Entrepreneurial role models, fear of failure, and institutional approval of entrepreneurship: a tale of two regions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 467-492, March.
    12. Obschonka, Martin & Stuetzer, Michael & Gosling, Samuel D. & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Lamb, Michael E. & Potter, Jeff & Audretsch, David B., 2015. "Entrepreneurial Regions: do macro-psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions help solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics?," MPRA Paper 65202, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Tubadji, Annie & Nijkamp, Peter & Santarelli, Enrico, 2017. "Shacklean Uncertainty and Cultural Embeddedness as Innovation Constraints in the UK," GLO Discussion Paper Series 111, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    14. repec:spr:intemj:v:14:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11365-017-0454-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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