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Is entrepreneurial success predictable? An ex-ante analysis of the character-based approach

  • Caliendo, Marco
  • Kritikos, Alexander S.

This paper empirically analyzes whether the character-based approach, which is based on the personality structure and the human capital of business founders, allows prediction of entrepreneurial success. A unique data set is used consisting of 414 previously unemployed persons whose personal characteristics were screened by different methods, namely a one-day assessment center (AC) and a standardized questionnaire, before they launched their business. Results are partly unexpected: first, there is almost no correlation detween the AC data and the questionnaire. Second, the predictive power of the AC data is slightly better than that of the questionnaire, but lower than expected in theory. Interestingly, for those subgrounds where the AC data have low predictive power, the questionnaire does better. Third, when success is measured in terms of employees hired, the character-based approach is a poor predictor.

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Paper provided by European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics in its series Discussion Papers with number 259.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:euvwdp:259
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  1. 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.
  2. Caliendo, Marco & Fossen, Frank M. & Kritikos, Alexander S., 2006. "Risk Attitudes of Nascent Entrepreneurs: New Evidence from an Experimentally-Validated Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 2168, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Hartog, Joop & Ferrer-i-Carbonell, Ada & Jonker, Nicole, 2002. "Linking Measured Risk Aversion to Individual Characteristics," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 3-26.
  4. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
  5. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Bonnett, Celia & Furnham, Adrian, 1991. "Who wants to be an entrepreneur? A study of adolescents interested in a Young Enterprise scheme," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 465-478, September.
  7. Brandstatter, Hermann, 1997. "Becoming an entrepreneur -- A question of personality structure?," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 157-177, April.
  8. Caliendo, Marco & Kritikos, Alexander S. & Wießner, Frank, 2006. "Existenzgründungsförderung in Deutschland: Zwischenergebnisse aus der Hartz-Evaluation," Discussion Papers 253, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), Department of Business Administration and Economics.
  9. 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.
  10. Begley, Thomas M. & Boyd, David P., 1987. "Psychological characteristics associated with performence in entrepreneurial firms and smaller businesses," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-93.
  11. 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.
  12. Holmes, Thomas J & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1990. "A Theory of Entrepreneurship and Its Application to the Study of Business Transfers," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 265-94, April.
  13. Milo Bianchi & Magnus Henrekson, 2005. "Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 353-377, 07.
  14. 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.
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