Harvard Business School2014-08-26 4:13 PM

Seeking the Roots of Entrepreneurship: Insights from Behavioral Economics

Abstract

There is a growing body of evidence that many entrepreneurs seem to enter and persist in entrepreneurship despite earning low risk-adjusted returns. This has lead to attempts to provide explanations—using both standard economic theory and behavioral economics—for why certain individuals may be attracted to such an apparently unprofitable activity. Drawing on research in behavioral economics, in the sections that follow, we review three sets of possible interpretations for understanding the empirical facts related to the entry into, and persistence in, entrepreneurship. Differences in risk aversion provide a plausible and intuitive interpretation of entrepreneurial activity. In addition, a growing literature has begun to highlight the potential importance of overconfidence in driving entrepreneurial outcomes. Such a mechanism may appear at face value to work like a lower level of risk aversion, but there are clear conceptual differences—in particular, overconfidence likely arises from behavioral biases and misperceptions of probability distributions. Finally, nonpecuniary taste-based factors may be important in motivating both the decisions to enter into and to persist in entrepreneurship.

 

Full Article

Journal of Economic Perspectives 28, no. 3 (Summer 2014): 49–70

http://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=47745

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Harvard Business School

哈佛商学院是世界最著名的商学院之一,是常春藤联盟商学院之一,早先名为”哈佛大学工商管理研究所“。美国教育界有这么一个说法:哈佛大学可算是全美所有大学中的一项王冠,而王冠上那夺人眼目的宝珠,就是哈佛商学院。哈佛商学院的名望,不仅是由于她首创了MBA学位,也不仅是因为她在管理教学中首创了案例教学法,还不仅是基于她拥有一个庞大的明星教授群,而是因为她确确实实向社会输送了大批极其优秀的人才。正是这些毕业生在社会上的卓越表现,才使哈佛商学院扬名世界。

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