Posted: 24 Nov 2009

See all articles by Edward P. Lazear

Edward P. Lazear

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 4 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2005


The entrepreneur assembles the necessary human,physical, and information resources in an efficient manner to create a newproduct or an existing one at a lower or competitive cost. It is hypothesizedthat while entrepreneurs differ from specialists who have a comparativeadvantage in a single skill, they have more balanced talents that embrace anumber of skills. There are two possible versions of the"jack-of-all-trades" view: (1) Labor market behavior reflects endowedskills or those acquired in school; and (2) persons perform various roles as aninvestment in acquiring skills needed to be an entrepreneur. A model was devised in whichan individual can decide to specializeusing a single skill or become an entrepreneur using a variety of skills. Themodel was tested empirically using data on Stanford University Graduate SchoolBusiness alumni surveyed in the late 1990s. Data included information aboutemployment history, industry, and demographic data. Analysis tends to support the "jack-of-all-trades" view. It wasfound that those with more varied careers, as measured by more employmentroles, are more likely to be entrepreneurs. Those students who studied a morevaried curriculum are also more likely to be entrepreneurs and to found morebusinesses, and those with risk tolerance are more likely to becomeentrepreneurs.(TNM)

Keywords: Experimental/primary research, Stanford University Graduate School of Business, Employment history, Careers, Educational background, Work experience, Demographics, Skills, Risk orientation, Career choices

Suggested Citation

Lazear, Edward P., Entrepreneurship (2005). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1509216

Edward P. Lazear (Contact Author)

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