Risk, balanced skills and entrepreneurship

Chihmao Hsieh, Simon C. Parker, C. Mirjam van Praag*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)


This paper proposes that risk aversion encourages individuals to invest in balanced skill profiles, making them more likely to become entrepreneurs. By not taking this possible linkage into account, previous research has underestimated the impacts of both risk aversion and balanced skills on the likelihood individuals choose entrepreneurship. Data on Dutch university graduates provide an illustration supporting our contention. We raise the possibility that even risk-averse people might be suited to entrepreneurship; and it may also help explain why prior research has generated somewhat mixed evidence about the effects of risk aversion on selection into entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-302
Number of pages16
JournalSmall Business Economics
Early online date26 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Jack-of-all-trades
  • Risk
  • Human capital
  • Occupational choice
  • Balanced skills


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