Seeking the Roots of Entrepreneurship: Insights from Behavioral Economics
Thomas Astebro (),
Ramana Nanda () and
Roberto Weber ()
Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2014, vol. 28, issue 3, 49-70
There is a growing body of evidence that many entrepreneurs seem to enter and persist in entrepreneurship despite earning low risk-adjusted returns. This has lead to attempts to provide explanations—using both standard economic theory and behavioral economics—for why certain individuals may be attracted to such an apparently unprofitable activity. Drawing on research in behavioral economics, in the sections that follow, we review three sets of possible interpretations for understanding the empirical facts related to the entry into, and persistence in, entrepreneurship. Differences in risk aversion provide a plausible and intuitive interpretation of entrepreneurial activity. In addition, a growing literature has begun to highlight the potential importance of overconfidence in driving entrepreneurial outcomes. Such a mechanism may appear at face value to work like a lower level of risk aversion, but there are clear conceptual differences—in particular, overconfidence likely arises from behavioral biases and misperceptions of probability distributions. Finally, nonpecuniary taste-based factors may be important in motivating both the decisions to enter into and to persist in entrepreneurship.
JEL-codes: D03 J23 L25 L26 M13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.28.3.49
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
Working Paper: Seeking the Roots of Entrepreneurship: Insights from Behavioral Economics (2015)
Working Paper: Seeking the Roots of Entrepreneurship: Insights from Behavioral Economics (2014)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:aea:jecper:v:28:y:2014:i:3:p:49-70
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
Journal of Economic Perspectives is currently edited by Enrico Moretti
More articles in Journal of Economic Perspectives from American Economic Association Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael P. Albert ().