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In brief...'Smart and illicit': the making of a successful entrepreneur

Ross Levine () and Yona Rubinstein

CentrePiece - The magazine for economic performance from Centre for Economic Performance, LSE

Abstract: Smart teenagers who engage in illicit activities are much more likely to become entrepreneurs, according to research by Ross Levine and Yona Rubinstein. But, they note, being self-employed doesn't necessarily make someone an entrepreneur: recognising this distinction has enabled them to detect both the key characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and the true rewards to their innovations. The incorporated self-employed earn much more per hour and work many more hours than people on salaries and the unincorporated self-employed. To measure illicit activities, the study uses survey data on skipping school, using alcohol and marijuana, vandalism, shoplifting, drug dealing, robbery, assault and gambling. The point is not that these are desirable activities or that parents should help their kids get involved in them to encourage entrepreneurship: rather, they can be used to gauge someone's inclination to build and lead a successful and innovative business.

Keywords: Self-employment; Occupational choice; Compensation; Firm organization; Corporate finance; Cognitive and Noncognitive traits (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G32 J24 J3 L26 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cwa, nep-neu and nep-sbm
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