Luck and Entrepreneurial Success
62 Pages Posted: 8 Aug 2014
Date Written: August 6, 2014
How much of entrepreneurial performance is sheer luck compared to talent, experience, education, and hard work? We define luck as unexpected performance and look for an answer in a large survey of entrepreneurs. Accordingly, luck ranks last in importance among various success factors and accounts for less than one third of performance variation. This ranking is unaffected by past performance and many personality traits, including self-attribution and illusion of control. Luck matters, however, in activities such as finding the appropriate business idea or choosing the right moment to enter a market. More important, luck perceptions shape decisions. For example, individuals who believe luck is important are reluctant to become entrepreneurs. Consistent with the definition, what entrepreneurs believe is luck correlates with the unexplained variation in a standard econometric model of performance. Estimates of that model also show that hard work does affect performance. So do talent, education, and, especially, experience.
Keywords: luck, start-ups, entrepreneur, factors of success, performance
JEL Classification: G3, G02, M13
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