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Personality Characteristics and the Decision to Become and Stay Self-Employed

Listed author(s):
  • Marco Caliendo
  • Frank M. Fossen
  • Alexander S. Kritikos

This paper systematically investigates whether different kinds of personality characteristics influence entrepreneurial development. On the basis of a large, representative household panel survey, we examine the extent to which the Big Five traits and further personality characteristics, which are more specifically related to entrepreneurial tasks, influence entry into self-employment and survival of self-employed persons in Germany. The empirical analysis reveals that among the specific characteristics in particular "risk attitudes" and "locus of control" have strong effects on entry and survival. With respect to the Big Five approach, in particular the traits "openness to experience" and "extraversion" and to a lower extent "agreeableness" and "neuroticism" help to explain entrepreneurial development. The explanatory power of the Big Five is comparable to one of the most prominent determinants of entrepreneurship - education - and approximately three times larger than parental selfemployment.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.369399.de/dp1113.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 1113.

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Length: 61 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp1113
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  1. van Praag, Mirjam C. & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen & van der Sluis, Justin, 2009. "Returns for Entrepreneurs vs. Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vs. Wage Employees," IZA Discussion Papers 4628, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Marco von Gelderen & Michael Frese & Roy Thurik, 2000. "Strategies, Uncertainty and Performance of Small Business Startups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 165-181, November.
  3. Van de Ven, Wynand P. M. M. & Van Praag, Bernard M. S., 1981. "The demand for deductibles in private health insurance : A probit model with sample selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 229-252, November.
  4. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
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