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Are Nonprofit Entrepreneurs Also "Jacks-Of-All-Trades"?


  • Cho, In Soo
  • Orazem, Peter


In Lazear (2005)'s model of entrepreneurship, individuals with more diverse academic and occupational training are more likely to become entrepreneurs, while more narrowly trained individuals become employees. We examine whether Lazear's model can also explain which individuals become nonprofit entrepreneurs. Information on successive cohorts of college graduates from a single university from 1982-2006 show that observed diversity of academic and occupational skills increases the probability of nonprofit sector entrepreneurship, consistent with previous findings of for-profit entrepreneurs. In addition, unobservable talents that increase probability of for-profit start-ups are positively correlated with the unobservable skills that lead to nonprofit start-ups, consistent with a presumed entrepreneurial skill that underlies the Lazear's Jacks-of-All-Trades model.

Suggested Citation

  • Cho, In Soo & Orazem, Peter, 2013. "Are Nonprofit Entrepreneurs Also "Jacks-Of-All-Trades"?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 35750, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:35750

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund, 2013. "Balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 93-114, June.
    2. Glaeser, Edward L. & Shleifer, Andrei, 2001. "Not-for-profit entrepreneurs," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 99-115, July.
    3. Chillemi, Ottorino & Gui, Benedetto, 1991. "Uninformed customers and nonprofit organization : Modelling 'contract failure' theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 5-8, January.
    4. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
    5. Sloan, Frank A. & Picone, Gabriel A. & TaylorJr., Donald H. & Chou, Shin-Yi, 2001. "Hospital ownership and cost and quality of care: is there a dime's worth of difference?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 1-21, January.
    6. ├ůstebro, Thomas & Thompson, Peter, 2011. "Entrepreneurs, Jacks of all trades or Hobos?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(5), pages 637-649, June.
    7. H. Naci Mocan & Erdal Tekin, 2003. "Nonprofit Sector and Part-Time Work: An Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data on Child Care Workers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 38-50, February.
    8. Susan Rose-Ackerman, 1996. "Altruism, Nonprofits, and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 701-728, June.
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    10. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Petra Moog, 2007. "Who chooses to become an entrepreneur? The Jacks-of-all-Trades in Social and Human Capital," Working Papers 0076, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    11. repec:hrv:faseco:33078971 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. David Easley & Maureen O'Hara, 1983. "The Economic Role of the Nonprofit Firm," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 531-538, Autumn.
    13. Preston, Anne E, 1988. "The Nonprofit Firm: A Potential Solution to Inherent Market Failures," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 26(3), pages 493-506, July.
    14. Holtmann, A G, 1983. "A Theory of Non-Profit Firms," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(200), pages 439-449, November.
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    More about this item


    Entrepreneurship; Non-profit; Jacks-of-All-Trades theory; Balanced skills;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • L31 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Nonprofit Institutions; NGOs; Social Entrepreneurship
    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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