Angels in the Crowd: The Role of Social Homophily and Peer Influence in Angel Investment

Fei Qin, Tomasz Marek Mickiewicz, Saul Estrin

Research output: Contribution to journalConference abstractpeer-review


Business angels are financial providers, investing their own money into high-risk entrepreneurial assets, with a different set of motivations (more intrinsically motivated) and behaviours (more actively involved) from institutional investors. We offer a conceptualization of business angels as entrepreneurial decision-makers; individuals, whose actions are socially embedded. We investigate how the choice to engage as a business angel is affected by individual experience, the corresponding social experience of peer groups, and the interplay of the two. We test a multi-level model using a large dataset containing 1,287,997 individuals across 92 countries and 15 years. Our analysis reveals that meso-level peer influence has a significant effect on the likelihood that an individual becomes a business angel. It also acts to compensate for lack of individual entrepreneurial experience.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12581
Number of pages1
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Early online date29 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020
Event80th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Online
Duration: 7 Aug 202011 Aug 2020


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