Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 797: Compulsory Education and Jack-of-all-trades Entrepreneurs

Robin Douhan
Additional contact information
Robin Douhan: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: P.O. Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Can educational institutions explain occupational choice between wage employment and entrepreneurship? This paper follows Lazear's (2005) Jack-of-all-trades hypothesis according to which an individual with a more balanced set of abilities is more likely to enter into entrepreneurship. In the theoretical model proposed, abilities are an outcome of talent and educational institutions. Institutions, in turn, differ with respect to mandatory time in school and the scope of the curriculum. Implications of the theory are tested using Swedish data for a school reform. Empirical results support the main theoretical predictions.

Keywords: Human Capital; Occupational Choice; Entrepreneurship; Education Institutions

JEL-codes: I21; J24; L26

34 pages, June 1, 2009

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