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Risk, Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship: Evidence From a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment

Martin Koudstaal, Randolph Sloof () and Mirjam Praag
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Martin Koudstaal: University of Amsterdam

No 14-136/VII, Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers from Tinbergen Institute

Abstract: Forthcoming in 'Management Science' . Theory predicts that entrepreneurs have distinct attitudes towards risk and uncertainty, but empirical evidence is mixed. To better understand the unique behavioral characteristics of entrepreneurs and the causes of these mixed results, we perform a large ‘lab-in-the-field’ experiment comparing entrepreneurs to managers – a suitable comparison group – and employees (n = 2288). The results indicate that entrepreneurs perceive themselves as less risk averse than managers and employees, in line with common wisdom. However, when using experimental incentivized measures, the differences are subtler. Entrepreneurs are only found to be unique in their lower degree of loss aversion, and not in their risk or ambiguity aversion. This combination of results might be explained by our finding that perceived risk attitude is not only correlated to risk aversion but also to loss aversion. Overall, we therefore suggest using a broader definition of risk that captures this unique feature of entrepreneurs; their willingness to risk losses.

Keywords: Entrepreneurs; managers; risk aversion; loss aversion; ambiguity aversion; lab-in- the field experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L26 C93 D03 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-ent, nep-exp and nep-upt
Date: 2014-10-17
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Related works:
Journal Article: Risk, Uncertainty, and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment (2016) Downloads
Working Paper: Risk, Uncertainty and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from a Lab-in-the-Field Experiment (2014) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tin:wpaper:20140136

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