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Entrepreneurial Progress: Climbing The Entrepreneurial Ladder in Europe and The US


Author Info

  • Peter van der Zwan

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam)

  • Ingrid Verheul

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam and EIM, Zoetermeer)

  • Roy Thurik

    (Erasmus University Rotterdam, EIM, Zoetermeer, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena, and VU University Amsterdam)

  • Isabel Grilo

    (DG Enterprise, European Commission, Brussels, GREMARS, Universit� de Lille 3, CORE, Universit� de Louvain, Belgium)


We investigate which countries have the highest potential to achieve entrepreneurial progress. This progress is defined using an entrepreneurial ladder with five successive steps: “never thought about starting a business”, “thinking about starting a business”, “taking steps to start a business”, “running a business for less than three years”, and “running a business for more than three years”. We assess the influence of individual-level and country-level variables on progression through these stages. Data are used from the 2007 “Flash Eurobarometer Survey on Entrepreneurship”, covering 27 European countries and the United States. We find that countries display large variation in the ease with which businesses come into existence and survive. In the US many people think about setting up a business whereas Europeans are better at achieving higher levels of engagement. Particularly in Austria, France and Lithuania there appear to be low probabilities to advance in the process. Our analysis suggests that country differences can be explained by the level of economic development and risk tolerance while the administrative and financial climate play a role for some steps. The paper also provides results on the influence of individual-level demographic and obstacle perception variables.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 09-070/3.

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Date of creation: 05 Aug 2009
Date of revision: 17 Mar 2010
Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20090070

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; determinants; nascent entrepreneurship; competitiveness; continuation ratio logit;

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Zwan & Ingrid Verheul & A. Thurik, 2012. "The entrepreneurial ladder, gender, and regional development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(3), pages 627-643, October.


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