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Stepping Forward: Personality Traits, Choice of Profession, and the Decision to Become Self-Employed

  • Sorgner, Alina
  • Fritsch, Michael

We argue that entrepreneurial choice proceeds in at least two steps, with vocational choice nearly always preceding choice of employment status, whether that be self-employment or dependent employment. Since the two decisions are interrelated, analysis of entrepreneurial choice as a single act may lead to inconsistent estimates of the factors that determine the decision to launch a business venture. Our empirical analysis utilizes a bivariate probit model that jointly estimates both decisions. The results support our argument that entrepreneurial choice is a two-stage decision process.

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Paper provided by Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association in its series Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order with number 79768.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc13:79768
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.socialpolitik.org/Email:


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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. Michael Fritsch & Alexander Kritikos & Alina Rusakova, 2012. "Who Starts a Business and who is Self-Employed in Germany," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-001, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  3. Randall K. Filer, 1986. "The role of personality and tastes in determining occupational structure," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(3), pages 412-424, April.
  4. Alina Sorgner & Michael Fritsch, 2013. "Occupational Choice and Self-Employment: Are They Related?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 533, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  5. William H. Greene, 1998. "Gender Economics Courses in Liberal Arts Colleges: Further Results," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(4), pages 291-300, January.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521728355 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. N.S. Bosma & J. Hessels & V. Schutjens & M. Van Praag & I. Verheul, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and role models," Working Papers 33-2, Utrecht School of Economics.
  8. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  9. Stefan Bauernschuster & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2009. "Training and Innovation," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(4), pages 323-353.
  10. Gathmann, Christina & Schönberg, Uta, 2007. "How General Is Human Capital? A Task-Based Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 3067, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Ljubica Nedelkoska & Frank Neffke, 2010. "Human Capital Mismatches along the Career Path," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-051, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  12. 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).
  13. 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.
  14. Bernard F. Lentz & David N. Laband, 1989. "Why So Many Children of Doctors Become Doctors: Nepotism vs. Human Capital Transfers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 396-413.
  15. Alina Sorgner, 2012. "A Physician With A Soul Of A Cook? Entrepreneurial Personality Across Occupations," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-063, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  16. Daniele Fabbri & Chiara Monfardini, 2006. "Style of practice and assortative mating: a recursive probit analysis of cesarean section scheduling in Italy," CHILD Working Papers wp06_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
  17. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "Balanced Skills and Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 208-211, May.
  18. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2009. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20049, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  20. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  21. Ramana Nanda & Jesper B. Sørensen, 2010. "Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 56(7), pages 1116-1126, July.
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