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Entrepreneurship: Cause or Consequence of Financial Optimism?

Author

Listed:
  • Dawson, Christopher

    () (University of Bath)

  • de Meza, David Emmanuel

    () (London School of Economics)

  • Henley, Andrew

    () (Cardiff University)

  • Arabsheibani, Reza

    () (London School of Economics)

Abstract

Extant evidence that the self-employed overestimate their returns by more than employees do is consistent with two mutually inclusive possibilities. Self-employment may generate optimism or optimists may be drawn to self-employment. This paper finds that employees who will be self-employed in the future overestimate their short-run financial wellbeing by more than those who never become self-employed. When actually self-employed they are even more optimistic. Employees aspiring to start their own business are also of above average optimism. Cross-sectional findings are therefore an amalgam of psychological disposition and environmental factors, as theory requires if optimism is to be a causal influence on entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Dawson, Christopher & de Meza, David Emmanuel & Henley, Andrew & Arabsheibani, Reza, 2012. "Entrepreneurship: Cause or Consequence of Financial Optimism?," IZA Discussion Papers 6844, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6844
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Das, J.W.M. & van Soest, A.H.O., 2000. "Expected Versus Realized Income Changes : A Test of the Rational Expectation Hypothesis," Discussion Paper 2000-105, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Gavin Cassar, 2007. "Money, money, money? A longitudinal investigation of entrepreneur career reasons, growth preferences and achieved growth," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 89-107, January.
    3. Das, Marcel & van Soest, Arthur, 1997. "Expected and realized income changes: Evidence from the Dutch socio-economic panel," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 137-154, January.
    4. Marcel Das & Arthur van Soest, 2000. "Expected Versus Realized Income Expectations: A Test of the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1750, Econometric Society.
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    6. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    7. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    9. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
    10. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Puri, Manju & Robinson, David T., 2007. "Optimism and economic choice," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 71-99, October.
    12. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin G.A. Svensson, 2015. "When being wrong might be right: on overconfidence as an evolutionary mechanism of nascent entrepreneurs," Chapters,in: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the Global Economy, chapter 10, pages 237-258 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. repec:eee:corfin:v:44:y:2017:i:c:p:289-307 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Martin Koudstaal & Randolph Sloof & Mirjam van Praag, 2015. "Are Entrepreneurs more Optimistic and Overconfident than Managers and Employees?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-124/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    4. Jean-Christophe Poutineau & Gauthier Vermandel, 2015. "Quelle prise en compte des caractéristiques nationales dans les mesures macroprudentielles en zone euro ?," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, pages 95-141.
    5. Dawson, Christopher & de Meza, David Emmanuel & Henley, Andrew & Arabsheibani, Reza, 2015. "The Power of (Non) Positive Thinking: Self-Employed Pessimists Earn More than Optimists," IZA Discussion Papers 9242, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Ross Levine & Yona Rubinstein, 2017. "Smart and Illicit: Who Becomes an Entrepreneur and Do They Earn More?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 963-1018.
    7. Salima TAKTAK & Mohamed Ali AZOUZI & Mohamed TRIKI, 2013. "Why Entrepreneur Overconfidence Affect Its Project Financial Capability: Evidence From Tunisia Using The Bayesian Network Method," Business Excellence and Management, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 3(2), pages 61-84, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    financial optimism; expectations; self-employment;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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