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Journal article
Michael Fritsch

Entrepreneurial Career Paths: Occupational Context and the Propensity to Become Self-employed

  • Abstract

    We investigate the relationship between characteristics of an occupation-specific environment and the decision of employees to start an own business. A relatively high occupation-specific unemployment risk and high earnings risk are conducive to opt for self-employment. Also, occupations that are characterized by high self-employment rates foster entrepreneurial choice among their employees. The results suggest that career choices of future entrepreneurs are driven by different motivations than those of non-entrepreneurs. In particular, the expectation of a pronounced financial gain is critical for future entrepreneurs when they make their initial occupational choices in paid employment and it is also relevant for a self-employment choice. We find that when future entrepreneurs enter the labor market, they are more likely to choose occupations that require a relatively high variety of skills.
  • Keywords

    Entrepreneurial choice, Occupation-specific determinants of entrepreneurship, Employment risk, Earnings risk, Skill variety
  • JEL classification

    L26, J24, D01
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