Affiliations: Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Jena, Germany
Note:  Address for correspondence: Michael Fritsch, Friedrich Schiller University Jena, School of Economics and Business Administration, Chair of Business Dynamics, Innovation, and Economic Change, Carl-Zeiss-Street 3, 07743 Jena, Germany. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Drawing on representative household data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, we examine the role of an early precursor of entrepreneurial development – parental role models – for the individual decision to become self-employed in the post-unified Germany. The findings suggest that the socialist regime significantly damaged this mechanism of an intergenerational transmission of entrepreneurial attitudes among East Germans with a tertiary degree that have experienced a particularly strong ideological indoctrination. However, we find a significant and positive relationship between the presence of a parental role model and the decision to become self-employed for less-educated people. For West Germans the positive relationship holds irrespective of the level of education.
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, parental role models, human capital, political regime switch, East Germany