IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Education, social capital and entrepreneurial selection in Italy

  • Ferrante, Francesco
  • Sabatini, Fabio

There is wide consensus that entrepreneurial talent is the ability to discover and exploit market opportunities by taking the relevant risky decisions. Discovery and exploitation are separate but interlinked features of entrepreneurship requiring, in different proportions, the exploitation of innate and acquired skills. Institutions and technology, by determining the nature of the discovery and exploitation process and the need for such skills, play an essential role in shaping the nature of entrepreneurial talent and the specific role of education in entrepreneurial selection and performance. Empirical studies on entrepreneurship do not offer a neat picture of the actual contribution of education to entrepreneurial human capital or entrepreneurial talent. This unsatisfactory outcome is not surprising and is due to an inadequate assessment of the context-dependent factors shaping the latter. Building on these premises, the aim of our research work is to carry out a in depth analysis of the determinants of entrepreneurship in Italy, thus accounting for the role that variables like the educational qualification, the family background, and social capital play in determining the entrepreneurial selection. This paper attempts to constitute a first step for the improvement of our understanding by means of a preliminary, exploratory, analysis on the Italian data and a series of probit analyses aimed at identifying the main determinants founding the entrepreneurial choice. Rough data are taken from an original dataset built by the authors partly drawing on the Survey of Household Income and Wealth (SHIW) carried out by the Bank of Italy. The latter has been integrated with a wide variety of environmental variables drawn from different data sources describing the social and institutional context of the entrepreneurial activity.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2451.

in new window

Date of creation: Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2451
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Francesco Ferrante, 2005. "Revealing Entrepreneurial Talent," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 25(2), pages 159-174, 09.
  2. Marcel Fafchamps & Bart Minten, 2000. "Returns to Social Network Capital among Traders," Development Working Papers 145, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  4. Stefano Scarpetta & Philip Hemmings & Thierry Tressel & Jaejoon Woo, 2002. "The Role of Policy and Institutions for Productivity and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Micro and Industry Data," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 329, OECD Publishing.
  5. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1990. "The Allocation of Talent: Implications for Growth," NBER Working Papers 3530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Fafchamps, Marcel & Gabre-Madhin, Eleni Z. & Minten, Bart, 2003. "Increasing returns and market efficiency in agricultural trade," MTID discussion papers 60, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Fabio Sabatini, 2006. "Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development: The Case of Italy," Working Papers 2006.14, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Otani, Kiyoshi, 1996. "A Human Capital Approach to Entrepreneurial Capacity," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 63(250), pages 273-89, May.
  9. 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.
  10. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio LopezdeSilanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," NBER Working Papers 7892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jérôme Vandenbussche & Philippe Aghion & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Growth, distance to frontier and composition of human capital," IFS Working Papers W04/31, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  12. Sarasvathy, D. K. & Simon, Herbert A. & Lave, Lester, 1998. "Perceiving and managing business risks: differences between entrepreneurs and bankers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 207-225, January.
  13. Schiller, Bradley R & Crewson, Philip E, 1997. "Entrepreneurial Origins: A Longitudinal Inquiry," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(3), pages 523-31, July.
  14. A. Arrighetti & A. Lasagni & G. Seravalli, 2001. "Capitale sociale, associazionismo economico e istituzioni: indicatori statistici di sintesi," Economics Department Working Papers 2001-EP04, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  15. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social Capital, Public Spending and the Quality of Economic Development," Others 0506014, EconWPA.
  16. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Working Papers 83, University of Rome La Sapienza, Department of Public Economics.
  17. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2005. "Entrepreneurship Selection and Performance: A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Education in Developing Economies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 225-261.
  18. Davidsson, Per & Honig, Benson, 2003. "The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-331, May.
  19. William J. Baumol, 2004. "Education for Innovation: Entrepreneurial Breakthroughs vs. Corporate Incremental Improvements," NBER Working Papers 10578, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Iyigun, Murat F & Owen, Ann L, 1999. " Entrepreneurs, Professionals, and Growth," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 213-32, June.
  21. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
  22. Justin van der Sluis & Mirjam van Praag & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Entrepreneurship Selection and Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-046/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 24 Sep 2004.
  23. Fabio Sabatini, 2005. "Social capital as social networks. A new framework for measurement," Others 0506013, EconWPA.
  24. Richard R. Nelson & Edmond S. Phelps, 1965. "Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 189, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  25. 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.
  26. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  27. Bates, Timothy, 1990. "Entrepreneur Human Capital Inputs and Small Business Longevity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(4), pages 551-59, November.
  28. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  29. 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 808-27, August.
  30. 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.
  31. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  32. Guiso, Luigi & Schivardi, Fabiano, 2005. "Learning to be an Entrepreneur," CEPR Discussion Papers 5290, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  33. Marc Cowling, 2000. "Are entrepreneurs different across countries?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(12), pages 785-789.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2451. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.