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Entrepreneurship, Wage Employment and Control in an Occupational Choice Framework

  • Douhan, Robin


    (IFN - Research Institute of Industrial Economics)

  • van Praag, Mirjam C.


    (Copenhagen Business School)

We combine two empirical observations in a general equilibrium occupational choice model. The first is that entrepreneurs have more control than employees over the employment of and accruals from assets, such as human capital. The second observation is that entrepreneurs enjoy higher returns to human capital than employees. We present an intuitive model showing that more control (observation 1) may be an explanation for higher returns (observation 2); its main outcome is that returns to ability are higher in higher control environments. This provides a theoretical underpinning for the control-based explanation for higher returns to human capital for entrepreneurs.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4211.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4211
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  1. Levin, Jesse & Plug, Erik J. S., 1999. "Instrumenting education and the returns to schooling in the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 521-534, November.
  2. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Arndt Werner, 2007. "Entrepreneurial Signaling via Education: A Success Factor in Innovative Start-Ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 173-190, June.
  3. Joop Hartog & Mirjam van Praag & Justin van der Sluis, 2008. "If you are so smart, why aren't you an Entrepreneur?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-073/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  4. Matthias Benz & Bruno S. Frey, 2008. "Being Independent is a Great Thing: Subjective Evaluations of Self-Employment and Hierarchy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 75(298), pages 362-383, 05.
  5. J. Wagner, 2003. "Testing Lazear's jack-of-all-trades view of entrepreneurship with German micro data," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(11), pages 687-689.
  6. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2008. "Education And Entrepreneurship Selection And Performance: A Review Of The Empirical Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(5), pages 795-841, December.
  7. Kanbur, S M, 1979. "Of Risk Taking and the Personal Distribution of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 769-97, August.
  8. Silva, Olmo, 2006. "The Jack-of-All-Trades Entrepreneur: Innate Talent or Acquired Skill?," IZA Discussion Papers 2264, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. 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.
  10. Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Estimating Average and Local Average Treatment Effects of Education when Compulsory Schooling Laws Really Matter," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 152-175, March.
  11. C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
  12. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
  13. 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.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  15. van der Sluis, Justin & van Praag, Mirjam C. & van Witteloostuijn, Arjen, 2007. "Why Are the Returns to Education Higher for Entrepreneurs than for Employees?," IZA Discussion Papers 3058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Parker, Simon C. & van Praag, C. Mirjam, 2006. "Schooling, Capital Constraints, and Entrepreneurial Performance: The Endogenous Triangle," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 24, pages 416-431, October.
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