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Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions

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  • Michael Fritsch

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

  • Alina Rusakova

    () (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of broad personality traits-the Big Five-on an individual's decision to become self- employed. In particular, we test an overall indicator of the entrepreneurial personality. Since we find that the level of self-employment varies considerably across professions, we also perform the analysis for different types of professions, namely, those classified as being in the "creative class" as compared to the noncreative class. The analysis is based on micro data for individuals of the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP). We find a significant association between personality traits and the propensity be become self-employed. However, the strength of this link is fairly weak and differs across professions, indicating an important effect of an individual's profession on his or her decision to run an own business.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Alina Rusakova, 2010. "Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-075, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2010-075
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Tan, Michelle, 2011. "Noncognitive skills, occupational attainment, and relative wages," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 1-13, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Juergen Schupp & Gert Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Working Papers 2096, The Field Experiments Website.
    4. Koellinger, Philipp & Minniti, Maria & Schade, Christian, 2007. ""I think I can, I think I can": Overconfidence and entrepreneurial behavior," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 502-527, August.
    5. 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.
    6. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    7. Marco Caliendo & Frank Fossen & Alexander Kritikos, 2009. "Risk attitudes of nascent entrepreneurs–new evidence from an experimentally validated survey," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 153-167, February.
    8. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1990. "Entrepreneurial Success and Occupational Inheritance among Proprietors," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 23(3), pages 563-579, August.
    9. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
    10. P. Mueller, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the Region: Breeding Ground for Nascent Entrepreneurs?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 41-58, August.
    11. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Rainer K. Silbereisen & Samuel D. Gosling & Jeff Potter, 2013. "The Regional Distribution and Correlates of an Entrepreneurship-Prone Personality Profile in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Socioecological Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 550, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    2. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Udo Brixy & Rolf Sternberg & Uwe Cantner, 2014. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 221-244, February.
    3. Nadia Simoes & Nuno Crespo & Sandrina B. Moreira, 2016. "Individual Determinants Of Self-Employment Entry: What Do We Really Know?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 783-806, September.
    4. Judith Offerhaus, 2013. "The Type to Train?: Impacts of Personality Characteristics on Further Training Participation," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 531, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    5. Florin-Marius PAVELESCU & Valentina VASILE, 2012. "Change In Economic Structure, Expansion Of University Training And Development Of Non-Wage Employment," Romanian Journal of Economics, Institute of National Economy, vol. 35(2(44)), pages 45-74, December.
    6. Gabriele Ruiu, 2014. "The perverse effect of fatalism on entrepreneurial selection," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 901-922.
    7. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-016-9821-y is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; self-employment; personality traits; the Big Five; professions;

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles

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