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Like Father, Like Son?

Entrepreneurial history repeats itself.

This story appears in the May 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A recent study conducted by Ohio State University gives new meaning to the notion that parents set strong examples for their children. The survey, analyzed by economists Thomas A. Dunn and Douglas Holtz-Eakin at Syracuse University, reveals that parents' actions have a direct influence on their kids becoming entrepreneurs.

According to the findings, sons were nearly three times as likely to become self-employed if their fathers were self-employed; 32 percent of those with entrepreneurial fathers started a business, compared with only 12 percent of sons without self-employed fathers. Similarly, 24 percent of daughters with entrepreneurial mothers also donned entrepreneurial hats, while just 13 percent of daughters whose mothers weren't self-employed did so.

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