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Entrepreneurs under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Holm, Håkan J.

    () (Department of Economics, Lund University)

  • Opper, Sonja

    () (Department of Economics, Lund University)

  • Nee, Victor

    () (Cornell University)

Abstract

This study reports findings from the first large scale experiment investigating whether entrepreneurs differ from other people in their willingness to expose themselves to various forms of uncertainty in decision tasks. A stratified random sample of 700 CEOs from the Yangzi delta region in China is compared to 200 control group members. Our findings suggest that entrepreneurs’ seem to be more willing to accept some forms of strategic uncertainty related to multilateral competition and trust. In contrast, entrepreneurs do not seem to differ from ordinary people when it comes to non-strategic forms of uncertainty, such as risk and ambiguity

Suggested Citation

  • Holm, Håkan J. & Opper, Sonja & Nee, Victor, 2012. "Entrepreneurs under Uncertainty: An Economic Experiment," Working Papers 2012:4, Lund University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2012_004
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sarasvathy, D. K. & Simon, Herbert A. & Lave, Lester, 1998. "Perceiving and managing business risks: differences between entrepreneurs and bankers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 207-225, January.
    2. Caliendo, Marco & Fossen, Frank & Kritikos, Alexander, 2010. "The impact of risk attitudes on entrepreneurial survival," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 45-63, October.
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    4. Cramer, J. S. & Hartog, J. & Jonker, N. & Van Praag, C. M., 2002. "Low risk aversion encourages the choice for entrepreneurship: an empirical test of a truism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 29-36, May.
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    7. Hans-Martin von Gaudecker & Arthur van Soest & Erik Wengstrom, 2011. "Heterogeneity in Risky Choice Behavior in a Broad Population," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(2), pages 664-694, April.
    8. Sandri, Serena & Schade, Christian & Mußhoff, Oliver & Odening, Martin, 2010. "Holding on for too long? An experimental study on inertia in entrepreneurs' and non-entrepreneurs' disinvestment choices," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 30-44, October.
    9. Ernst Fehr & John A. List, 2004. "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives-Trust and Trustworthiness Among CEOs," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(5), pages 743-771, September.
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    11. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    12. Nee, Victor & Opper, Sonja, 2012. "Capitalism from Below: Markets and Institutional Change in China," Economics Books, Harvard University Press, number 9780674050204, December.
    13. Steffen Andersen & Glenn Harrison & Morten Lau & E. Rutström, 2009. "Elicitation using multiple price list formats," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 12(3), pages 365-366, September.
    14. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List, 2007. "What Do Laboratory Experiments Measuring Social Preferences Reveal About the Real World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(2), pages 153-174, Spring.
    15. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
    16. 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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    Cited by:

    1. Maart, Syster Christin & Musshoff, Oliver & Ewald, Jorn, 2012. "Ermittlung Der Individuellen Risikoeinstellung: Vergleich Verschiedener Methoden Und Personengruppen," 52nd Annual Conference, Stuttgart, Germany, September 26-28, 2012 137384, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
    2. Dreber, Anna & Rand, David & Wernerfelt, Nils & Worrell, Peter & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2013. "The Decisions of Entrepreneurs and Their Agents: Revealed Levels of Risk Aversion and Betrayal Aversion," Working Paper Series rwp13-016, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Ihli, Hanna Julia & Chiputwa, Brian & Musshoff, Oliver, 2013. "Do Changing Probabilities or Payoffs in Lottery-Choice Experiments Matter? Evidence from Rural Uganda," Discussion Papers 158146, Georg-August-Universitaet Goettingen, GlobalFood, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Risk; Ambiguity; Willingness to Compete; Trust;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm

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