Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions

41 Pages Posted: 14 May 2013

See all articles by Michael Fritsch

Michael Fritsch

University of Jena - School of Economics and Business Administration

Alina Rusakova

University of Jena

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 10, 2010

Abstract

We investigate the effect of broad personality traits — the Big Five — on an individual’s decision to become self-employed. In particular, we test an overall indicator of the entrepreneurial personality. Since we find that the level of selfemployment varies considerably across professions, we also perform the analysis for different types of professions, namely, those classified as being in the “creative class” as compared to the noncreative class. The analysis is based on micro data for individuals of the German Socio Economic Panel (SOEP). We find a significant association between personality traits and the propensity be become self-employed. However, the strength of this link is fairly weak and differs across professions, indicating an important effect of an individual’s profession on his or her decision to run an own business.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, self-employment, personality traits, the Big Five, professions

JEL Classification: L26, Z1, D03

Suggested Citation

Fritsch, Michael and Rusakova, Alina, Personality Traits, Self-Employment, and Professions (December 10, 2010). SOEPpaper No. 343, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1736576 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1736576

Michael Fritsch (Contact Author)

University of Jena - School of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Carl-Zeiss-Str. 3
D-07743 Jena
Germany

Alina Rusakova

University of Jena ( email )

Fürstengraben 1
Jena, 07743
Germany

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