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Born to Compete? Sibling Rivalry and Self-Employment

Abstract

Drawing on Social comparison and resource dilution theories, this study posits that sibling rivalry affects peoples’ decisions to enter self-employment through two mechanisms. First, sibling rivalry fosters individual competitiveness, which triggers people to choose occupations that involve competitive behaviors such as self- employment. Second, by diluting parental resources, sibling rivalry negatively influences educational attainment. This, in turn, can affect self-employment in a non-linear fashion; people with lower education may lack the cognitive ability needed for self-employment, while those with higher education may find it more economically attractive to pursue wage jobs. We also argue that these two mechanisms–educational attainment and nurturing competitiveness–are moderated by the gender of the focal individual as well as by the gender composition of her siblings. We find evidence for these mechanisms by analyzing data from a survey of 4,086 individuals in China."

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[Wang, Taiyuan; Zhang, Fan] China Europe International Business School

[Justo, Rachida] Institu


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ISSN:0065-0668

Year:2020

Issue:1

Volume:2020

Language:English

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