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Differences between entrepreneurs and employees in their educational paths

Uschi Backes-Gellner, Simone Tuor Sartore and Daniela Wettstein
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Daniela Wettstein: Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich

No 50, Economics of Education Working Paper Series from University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW)

Abstract: This paper examines whether individuals who become either entrepreneurs or employees follow systematically different educational paths to a given educational level. Following Lazear’s jack-of-all-trades theory, we expect that entrepreneurs aim at a balanced set of different skills (academic or vocational), while employees specialize in one skill. This means that entrepreneurs follow educational paths that combine different types of education, while employees follow same-type paths while climbing up the educational ladder. We use the Swiss Labor Force Survey to test our hypothesis. Our em-pirical findings are in line with Lazear’s theory. Individuals who change between different types of education are more likely to become entrepreneurs. Thus, the permeability of a national educational system is one crucial determinant for entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Jack-of-all-trades; Educational paths (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 J24 M50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-ent, nep-hrm and nep-lab
Date: 2010-01
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http://repec.business.uzh.ch/RePEc/iso/leadinghouse/0050_lhwpaper.pdf (application/pdf)

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