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What Makes a Young Entrepreneur?

Author

Listed:
  • Blanchflower, David G.

    () (Dartmouth College)

  • Oswald, Andrew J.

    () (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper documents some of the patterns in modern microeconomic data on young people’s employment, attitudes and entrepreneurial behaviour. Among other sources, the paper uses the Eurobarometer Surveys; the Labour Force Surveys from Canada and the Current Population Survey in the United States. The first conclusion is that self-employed individuals – a special but well-defined entrepreneurial group – report markedly greater well-being than equivalent employees. Their job satisfaction and life-satisfaction are all higher than workers of identical personal characteristics. The second conclusion is that individuals say they would like to be self-employed. There is, according to the survey data, a large pool of potentially entrepreneurial people. Across the West, many millions of employees would apparently prefer to be self-employed. Third, we showed that another important determinant of being self-employed is having a self-employed parent. This appears to help young people to set up in business themselves. It is unclear whether this is done by inheriting the business, or working in the family firm or actually setting up a new business entirely.

Suggested Citation

  • Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2007. "What Makes a Young Entrepreneur?," IZA Discussion Papers 3139, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3139
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2004. "Well-being over time in Britain and the USA," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1359-1386, July.
    2. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
    3. Blanchflower, David G. & Shadforth, Chris, 2007. "Entrepreneurship in the UK," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 3(4), pages 257-364, July.
    4. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    5. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    6. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
    7. Nzinga Broussard & Ralph Chami & Gregory Hess, 2015. "(Why) Do self-employed parents have more children?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 297-321, June.
    8. Cowling, Marc & Mitchell, Peter, 1997. "The Evolution of U.K. Self-Employment: A Study of Government Policy and the Role of the Macroeconomy," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 65(4), pages 427-442, September.
    9. Dunn, Thomas & Holtz-Eakin, Douglas, 2000. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment: Evidence from Intergenerational Links," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(2), pages 282-305, April.
    10. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
    12. Black, Jane & de Meza, David & Jeffreys, David, 1996. "House Price, the Supply of Collateral and the Enterprise Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(434), pages 60-75, January.
    13. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-1526, November.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    self-employment; youth entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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