Closure and Exposure: Mechanisms in the Intergenerational Transmission of Self-employment

Closure and Exposure: Mechanisms in the Intergenerational Transmission of Self-employment

Research in the Sociology of Organizations.
2007, Vol. 25, Pages 83-124

Insights into the origins of entrepreneurial activity are gained through a study of alternative mechanisms implicated in the tendency for children of the self-employed to be substantially more likely than other children to enter into self-employment themselves. I use unique life history data to examine the impact of parental self-employment on the transition to self-employment in Denmark and assess the different mechanisms identified in the literature. The results suggest that parental role modeling is an important source of the transmission of self-employment. However, there is little evidence to suggest that children of the self-employed enter self-employment because they have privileged access to their parent’s financial or social capital, or because their parents’ self-employment allows them to develop superior entrepreneurial abilities.