Are 'Jacks-of-All-Trades' Overconfident?

Posted: 21 Nov 2011

See all articles by Stefan Pichler

Stefan Pichler

KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zürich

Sebastian Schaefer

Goethe University Frankfurt

Tim Uhle

Goethe University Frankfurt Faculty of Economics and Business Administration

Date Written: October 13, 2011

Abstract

In this paper we analyze the relationship between Jacks-of-all-trades (JAT) and their cognitive and non-cognitive skills using a sample of entrepreneurs. Extending Lazear's work, we develop a complementary measure for broad skills. By comparing both measures, we find two distinct types of entrepreneurs: The first is overconfident and has experience of many prior roles. The second type is more realistic and is endowed with many different skills. With regard to personality traits, conscientiousness is positively correlated with both types. For openness we find a positive and for agreeableness a negative relation, but only for the second type. The two types also differ in terms of locus of control: while the first type exhibits a strong external locus of control the second type is characterized by an internal locus of control.

Keywords: Jacks-of-all-trades, overconfidence, entrepreneurship, cognitive ability, personality traits, big five, locus of control

JEL Classification: D03, L26, J24

Suggested Citation

Pichler, Stefan and Schaefer, Sebastian and Uhle, Tim Elko, Are 'Jacks-of-All-Trades' Overconfident? (October 13, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1958955

Stefan Pichler

KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zürich ( email )

Leonhardstrasse 21
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.kof.ethz.ch

Sebastian Schaefer (Contact Author)

Goethe University Frankfurt ( email )

Grüneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

Tim Elko Uhle

Goethe University Frankfurt Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Grueneburgplatz 1
Frankfurt am Main, 60323
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.efinance.wiwi.uni-frankfurt.de/eng/index.php?id=429 target=

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