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Entrepreneurial career paths: occupational context and the propensity to become self-employed

Alina Sorgner and Michael Fritsch ()

Small Business Economics, 2018, vol. 51, issue 1, 129-152

Abstract: 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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 J24 D01 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:51:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9917-z