Not logged in.

Contribution Details

Type Working Paper
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Born to be an entrepreneur? How cultural origin affects entrepreneurship
Organization Unit
  • Katharina Erhardt
  • Simon Stefan Hänni
  • English
Institution University of Zurich
Series Name Working paper series / Department of Economics
Number 309
ISSN 1664-7041
Number of Pages 58
Date 2018
Abstract Text Persistent differences in entrepreneurial activity between regions and countries remain unexplained. This paper argues that cultural heritage is an important determinant. We exploit a quasi-experimental setting comparing entrepreneurial activities of individuals with different cultural ancestry from within Switzerland but who live in the same municipality today and are hence exposed to the same economic and institutional environment. We find that individuals with cultural origin on the German-speaking side of the Swiss language border found 20% more firms than their counterparts with cultural origin on the French-speaking side ─ no matter if they currently live in the German-speaking or French-speaking region. These newly founded firms are identical in terms of survival rate, industry composition, legal form, and firm size, independent of the cultural origin of firm founders. A model of entrepreneurial choice suggests that the empirical patterns of firm entry and performance are more likely driven by differences in risk aversion or preferences for entrepreneurship rather than by skill.
Related URLs
PDF File Download from ZORA
Export BibTeX
Keywords Culture, entrepreneurship, natural experiment, Entrepreneurship, Unternehmensgründung, Kultur, Präferenz, Risikoaversion, Schweiz