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What's the Difference?! Gender, Personality, and the Propensity to Start a Business

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Author Info

  • Furdas, Marina

    ()
    (University of Freiburg)

  • Kohn, Karsten

    ()
    (KfW Bankengruppe)

Abstract

Women start fewer businesses than men. The start-up rate among women in Germany falls short of males' start-up rate by one third. We scrutinize this gender gap using individual-level data from the KfW Start-up Monitor, a large-scale population survey on start-up activity in Germany. As a unique feature, the data combine socio-demographic characteristics, entrepreneurship-related attitudes, and general personality traits of both business starters and non-starters. Estimating binary choice models and employing decomposition techniques, we find that gender differences in socio-demographics alone would even be in favor of higher start-up rates among women, while the distribution of personality traits is less favorable for business start-ups among women and explains about one third of the entire gender difference. Most substantially, men opt for a start-up more often even given identical human capital and related endowments. Qualificational policies targeted towards higher educational attainments of potential entrepreneurs do thus not suffice to increase the number of female business starters.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4778.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4778

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; gender difference; start-up propensity; decomposition analysis; KfW Start-up Monitor; Germany;

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Cited by:
  1. Werner, Arndt, 2011. "Abbruch und Aufschub von Gründungsvorhaben: Eine empirische Analyse mit den Daten des Gründerpanels des IfM Bonn," IfM-Materialien, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn 209, Institut für Mittelstandsforschung (IfM) Bonn.
  2. Werner Boente & Monika Jarosch, 2011. "Gender Differences in Competitiveness, Risk Tolerance, and other Personality Traits: Do they contribute to the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship?," Schumpeter Discussion Papers, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library sdp11012, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
  3. Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2013. "Reflexionen zur Zukunft der Arbeit," IZA Standpunkte, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) 56, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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