Bureau of Business Research


Date of this Version



Presented at the 2013 North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International


Copyright (c) 2013 Eric Thompson, Carlos Asarta, Ziwen Zhang, and Felipe LeMarie.


Entrepreneurship choice is influenced by a number of contemporaneous variables including household wealth, spouse's education, gender, family composition, and health. Family background is another important factor; in particular whether a parent was involved in entrepreneurship. The long-running Panel Study of Income Dynamics provides an opportunity to examine the influence of parental entrepreneurship, from the 1960s and 1970s, on the entrepreneurship choices of middle-age Americans in the late 2000s. Consistent with previous literature, we find that parental experience is a consistent predictor of entrepreneurship choice for contemporary Americans. Our results, however, shed light in particular on the contribution of parental entrepreneurship when an individual was of school age or a young adult.