New evidence on the relationship between risk attitudes and self-employment

O. Skriabikova*, T.J. Dohmen, B. Kriechel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper analyses the impact of risk attitudes on the decision to become self-employed among individuals who grew up under the communist regime in Ukraine, which banned self-employment so that individuals could not observe what it is like to be self-employed. Since the intra-family transmission of self-employment experiences was largely shut down, the observed correlation between risk preferences and self-employment after transition is unlikely to be driven by parents transmitting self-employment experience and risk preferences to their children. Robustness checks on a sample of East Germans confirm that such a third factor explanation is implausible, thus shedding light on the causal nature of the relation between risk preferences and the decision to become self-employed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
JournalLabour Economics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


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