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The Good, the Bad, and the Talented: Entrepreneurial Talent and Selfish Behavior

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  • Utz Weitzel

    () (Nijmegen School of Management - Nijmegen School of Management, Max Planck Institute of Economics - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)

  • Diemo Urbig

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Faculty of Applied Economics - UA - University of Antwerp)

  • Sameeksha Desai

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Institute for Development Strategies - Institute for Development Strategies)

  • Mark Sanders

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Utrecht University School of Economics - Utrecht University [Utrecht])

  • Zoltan Acs

    (Max Planck Institute of Economics - Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, School of Public Policy - School of Public Policy)

Abstract

Talent allocation models assume that entrepreneurially talented people are selfish and thus allocate into unproductive or even destructive activities if these offer the highest private returns. This paper experimentally analyzes selfish preferences of the entrepreneurially talented. We find that making a distinction between talent and talent explains systematic differences in selfish behavior. Generally, both the less business talented and the more creative are more willing to forego private payoffs to avoid losses to others. A moderator analysis reveals that less creative individuals with business talent are significantly more selfish than all others, including the creative with business talent. This finding applies to both certain and risky payoffs with and without negative externalities. The paper makes a contribution to entrepreneurship research by qualifying the implications of talent allocation models and highlighting the importance of distinguishing between the two types of entrepreneurial talent. We also add to the field of experimental economics by advancing research on altruism under risk and with negative externalities.

Suggested Citation

  • Utz Weitzel & Diemo Urbig & Sameeksha Desai & Mark Sanders & Zoltan Acs, 2010. "The Good, the Bad, and the Talented: Entrepreneurial Talent and Selfish Behavior," Post-Print hal-00856604, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00856604
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2010.02.013
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00856604
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    Cited by:

    1. Zoltán J. Ács & Mary C. Boardman & Connie L. McNeely, 2015. "The social value of productive entrepreneurship," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 3, pages 42-53, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Bei Luo & Terence Tai-Leung Chong, 2017. "Entrepreneurial activities and institutional environment in China," Economic and Political Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(2), pages 179-194, April.
    3. José Neves Cruz, 2013. "Is white-collar crime a form of entrepreneurship?," OBEGEF Working Papers 022, OBEGEF - Observatório de Economia e Gestão de Fraude;OBEGEF Working Papers on Fraud and Corruption.
    4. Elert, Niklas & Andersson, Fredrik W. & Wennberg, Karl, 2015. "The impact of entrepreneurship education in high school on long-term entrepreneurial performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 209-223.
    5. Sameeksah Desai & Zoltán J. Ács & Utz Weitzel, 2015. "A Model of Destructive Entrepreneurship: Insight for Conflict and Postconflict Recovery," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 1, pages 3-23, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Urbig, Diemo & Weitzel, Utz & Rosenkranz, Stephanie & Witteloostuijn, Arjen van, 2012. "Exploiting opportunities at all cost? Entrepreneurial intent and externalities," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 379-393.
    7. Caliendo, Marco & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2011. "Searching for the Entrepreneurial Personality: New Evidence and Avenues for Further Research," IZA Discussion Papers 5790, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Gift Dafuleya, 2014. "Social Value Creation and Institution-Entrepreneurial Dynamics in a Three Sector Economy," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 6(10), pages 795-809.
    9. Kim Klyver & Noel J. Lindsay & Suleiman K. “Sul” Kassicieh & Gary Hancock, 2017. "Altruistic investment decision behavior in early-stage ventures," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 135-152, January.
    10. Mayer-Haug, Katrin & Read, Stuart & Brinckmann, Jan & Dew, Nicholas & Grichnik, Dietmar, 2013. "Entrepreneurial talent and venture performance: A meta-analytic investigation of SMEs," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1251-1273.
    11. Jonathan Levie & Erkko Autio & Zoltan Acs & Mark Hart, 2014. "Global entrepreneurship and institutions: an introduction," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(3), pages 437-444, March.
    12. Bittschi, Benjamin & Borgloh, Sarah & Moessinger, Marc-Daniel, 2016. "On tax evasion, entrepreneurial generosity and fungible assets," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-024, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    C91 -Laboratory; Individual Behavior; D62 -Externalities; D64 -Altruism; L26 -Entrepreneurship; selfishness; altruism; fairness; benevolence; inequity aversion; dictator game; entrepreneurship; talent; creativity; experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities

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