All about balance?: a test of the Jack-of-all-trades theory among the self-employed in Sweden
2014 (English)Report (Other academic)
Researchers as well as policymakers often view self-employment as an important factorbehind innovation and economic growth and policies that foster self-employment has been onthe agenda in several European countries during the last decades. The Jack-of-all-tradestheory argues that individuals with a balanced set of skills are more suitable for selfemploymentthan others. In this paper we test this theory using Swedish Military Enlistmentdata. This data enables us to construct a measure of balance in endowed abilities that, incomparison to measures used in previous research, is less contaminated by endogeneityproblems. Specifically, we measure balance in skills using the result from the tests ofcognitive and non-cognitive ability taken at military enlistment. We find clear support for theJack-of-all-trades theory, in the sense that the likelihood of being self-employed or switchinginto self-employment is higher for individuals who are more balanced in their in abilities. Inaddition, earnings from self-employment tend to be higher among individuals with a morebalanced set of skills.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Växjö: Linnaeus Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies , 2014. , 31 p.
Working paper series / Linnaeus University Centre for Labour Market and Discrimination Studies, 2014:15
Research subject Economy, Economics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-38647OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-38647DiVA: diva2:772792