Abstract

Entrepreneurs are considered risk-takers. At the same time, entrepreneurs as a group are very heterogeneous in nature, ranging from ones like Bill Gates who grow their start-up into a multi-billion dollar business to ones like the small shop owner. Thus far, most of the literature about the risk attitudes of entrepreneurs has treated the group of entrepreneurs as homogenous comparing their risk attitudes with the risk attitudes of managers, bankers, or employees. Little research exists on the differences of risk attitudes within the group of entrepreneurs. Our particular focus is on the motivation of entrepreneurs to start their business. We analyze two related research questions: how does the risk attitude of necessity and opportunity entrepreneurs differ? How is the entrepreneurs’ source of work motivation associated with their risk attitude?

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