business

Map shows where entrepreneurs thrive in US

U. TEXAS-AUSTIN (US) — Researchers have identified regions in the United States where a feeling of entrepreneurial spirit is “most at home.”

Founders of successful companies tend to exhibit personality traits that make them more socially engaging, creative, and able to handle stress than non-entrepreneurs, according to new research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.


In the US, entrepreneurial spirit—associated with personality characteristics such as being socially engaging, responsible, creative, able to handle stress, and at times uncompromising—was high in western states such as Colorado and Utah, and low in Rust Belt states such as Michigan and in Deep South states such as Mississippi. (Credit: Michael Hirst/Flickr)

The team of researchers in the US and Germany analyzed the personalities of more than 500,000 US citizens, in addition to approximately 20,000 German and 15,000 British citizens. The psychologists correlated their findings with economic data derived from various regions within each country.

In the US, entrepreneurial spirit—associated with personality characteristics such as being socially engaging, responsible, creative, able to handle stress, and at times uncompromising—was high in western states such as Colorado and Utah, and low in Rust Belt states such as Michigan and in Deep South states such as Mississippi.

[related]

Researchers found substantial correlations between the geographic distribution of the entrepreneurial personality structure and the regional distribution of actual entrepreneurial activity, such as the number of start-up businesses in a region.

The psychologists found similar results in Germany and Great Britain. Although there are no firm conclusions regarding the causes of these regional differences, one possible explanation might be found in the socialization processes within the regions, where prevalent “entrepreneurial values” are conveyed through parenting or social institutions.

“The Rust Belt has a long tradition in rule-driven mass production,” says Samuel Gosling, a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin. “It is therefore possible that this region supported non-entrepreneurial values more strongly, which in turn might have been reflected in a less marked entrepreneurial personality structure.”

The researchers conclude that the close connection between the distribution of the entrepreneurial personality structure and the economic clout of respective regions must be considered in future political and economic decisions.

Source: University of Texas at Austin

Related Articles