Parental influence and the propensity for entrepreneurship: evidence from the one-child policy

Mathew Hayward, Zhiming Cheng, Haining Wang, Russell Smyth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Theory and evidence on human capital suggest that those with more resources have more opportunities to advance their careers. However, entrepreneurship in developing countries may depend more on individuals' resourcefulness than resources. In this article, we investigate the proposition that those who are endowed with more resources from their parents are less resourceful and, therefore, less likely to become entrepreneurs. Our study is situated within the context of China's one-child policy so that we can address concerns that the relationship between the number of siblings one has and the propensity for entrepreneurship is endogenous to parental preferences and fertility conditions. Consistent with this proposition, we find that those with more siblings are more likely to become entrepreneurs. Also, more parental resources and influence weaken such a relationship. While the one-child policy was set up as a means of population control, an unexpected consequence was a diminished propensity for entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00428
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023


  • Entrepreneurship
  • Parental influence
  • Developmental psychology

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