On the Origins of Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Sibling Correlations

Matthew J. Lindquist, Joeri Sol, Theodor Vladasel

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    The success of policies promoting entrepreneurship rests partly on the assumption that entrepreneurial outcomes are not fully determined at a young age by factors unrelated to current policy. We test this assumption and assess the importance of family and community background by estimating sibling correlations in entrepreneurship. We find that between 20 and 50 percent of the variance in entrepreneurial outcomes is explained by factors that siblings share: hence, entrepreneurship is far less than fully determined at a young age. The estimates increase little when allowing for differential treatment within families by gender and birth order. We then investigate mechanisms explaining sibling similarity: parental entrepreneurship plays a large role, as do shared genes; neighborhood effects matter, but are rather small, while sibling peer effects and parental income and education matter even less. An implication is that there is ample room for policy and education to develop more and better entrepreneurship.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Seventy-seven Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
    EditorsSonia Taneja
    Number of pages6
    Place of PublicationBriar Cliff Manor, NY
    PublisherAcademy of Management
    Publication date2017
    Article number11536
    Publication statusPublished - 2017
    Event77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management: At the Interface - Georgia, Atlanta, United States
    Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
    Conference number: 77


    Conference77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    Internet address
    SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings


    • Entrepreneurship
    • Intergenerational persistence
    • Occupational choice

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