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Abstract

Entrepreneurship means making discrete changes in livelihood activities that involve substantial risks to income. While the rewards may be substantial, transactions costs may make decisions irreversible. This paper draws a comparison between entrepreneurship and technology adoption. Adopting a new production technology also involves substantial risks. The economics of technology adoption is a well developed literature with many accepted and testable models. Most prominent are the theories of learning by using and learning by doing. We review the technology adoption literature, drawing out lessons for entrepreneurship research. We then apply an entrepreneurship as technology adoption model to a unique dataset collected during the tobacco buyout. The uncertainty in household income and changes in economic environment during the tobacco transition payment program lead many individuals into entrepreneurial activities.

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