Are 'born to rebel' last-borns more likely to be self-employed?
Greene, Francis J.
- Publisher: Elsevier
determinants | risk-taking | entrepreneuship | attitudes | birth order | aversion | last-borns | personality | self-employment | family firms | perspective | risk | intergenerational transmission
This paper investigates birth order effects on adult self-employment. Drawing on Sulloway's 'born to rebel' thesis, we test whether or not last-borns whose parents have no prior self-employment experience are more likely to bear and assume the risks associated with self-employment. We also test if parental self-employment experience moderates the relationship between last-borns and self-employment. Using large-scale life-span data on 6322 cohort members, a within-family design, and controlling for demographic confounds such as the number of siblings, we find that last-borns from non-entrepreneurial families are more likely to be self-employed than first or middle-borns. However, in families with parental experience of self-employment, we find that last-borns in three or more child families are no more likely to be self-employed than their siblings. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.