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A Selection-Based Theory of the Transition from Employment to Entrepreneurship: The Role of Employer Size

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  • Parker, Simon C.

    () (Western University, Canada)

Abstract

A simple occupational choice model is used to predict that entrepreneurs who found new firms are more likely to work for small than for large firms prior to start-up. The mechanism underlying the result is heterogeneous risk aversion. The model also predicts a positive association between new firm formation and previous self-employment experience. These predictions accord with previous empirical findings, but notably self-selection rather than productivity effects can explain them.

Suggested Citation

  • Parker, Simon C., 2006. "A Selection-Based Theory of the Transition from Employment to Entrepreneurship: The Role of Employer Size," IZA Discussion Papers 2071, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Ghatak, Maitreesh, 1999. "Group lending, local information and peer selection," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 27-50, October.
    2. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Nascent Entrepreneurs," IZA Discussion Papers 1293, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Maitreesh Ghatak & Massimo Morelli & Tomas Sjöström, 2001. "Occupational Choice and Dynamic Incentives," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(4), pages 781-810.
    4. Ekelund, Jesper & Johansson, Edvard & Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta & Lichtermann, Dirk, 2005. "Self-employment and risk aversion--evidence from psychological test data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 649-659, October.
    5. Boden, Richard Jr., 1996. "Gender and self-employment selection: An empirical assessment," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 671-682.
    6. 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.
    7. Bester, Helmut, 1985. "Screening vs. Rationing in Credit Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 850-855, September.
    8. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, April.
    9. Van Praag, C Mirjam & Van Ophem, Hans, 1995. "Determinants of Willingness and Opportunity to Start as an Entrepreneur," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 513-540.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:ebl:ecbull:v:10:y:2007:i:10:p:1-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Daniel W. Elfenbein & Barton H. Hamilton & Todd R. Zenger, 2010. "The Small Firm Effect and the Entrepreneurial Spawning of Scientists and Engineers," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(4), pages 659-681, April.
    3. Johanna Gast & Arndt Werner & Sascha Kraus, 2017. "Antecedents of the small firm effect: the role of knowledge spillover and blocked mobility for employee entrepreneurial intentions," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 277-297, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; occupational choice; firm size;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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