IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Impact of Personal Characteristics and the Regional Milieu on the Transition from Unemployment to Self-employment: Empirical Evidence for Germany

  • Joachim Wagner


    (Universität Lüneburg)

The focus of this paper is on the choice of the unemployed between becoming an entrepreneur or not. It contributes to the literature by empirically investigating the impact of personal characteristics and attitudes, and of the regional "entrepreneurial milieu", on the individual decision to start a new business out of unemployment. The econometric study is based on data from a recent representative survey of the population in ten German planning regions. We use a version of the logit model that takes care of both the rare events nature of the transition from unemployment to self-employment, and of the regional stratification of the data, and the results of the non linear models are carefully interpreted and illustrated. We show that lack of personal contact with a young entrepreneur reduces the probability of starting one's own business. A favourable 'regional entrepreneurial milieu' (proxied by higher levels of current start-up activity and larger shares of unemployed among the starters in a region) has a positive effect on the individual propensity to step into self-employment. All these impacts are not only statistically significant, but economically important, too. A comparison of unemployed with employed and not employed nascent entrepreneurs reveals remarkable differences regarding the impact of sex, age, and higher education, while the positive impact of personal contacts with a young entrepreneur and of a comparable high share of nascent entrepreneurs in the region holds across all groups.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Main text
Download Restriction: Access via GENIOS - German Business Information -

File URL:
File Function: Main text
Download Restriction: Access via EBSCOhost Econlit -

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics in its journal Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 223 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 204-222

in new window

Handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:223:y:2003:i:2:p:204-222
Contact details of provider: Postal: Licher Straße 74, 35394 Gießen
Phone: +49 (0)641 99 22 001
Fax: +49 (0)641 99 22 009
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:jns:jbstat:v:223:y:2003:i:2:p:204-222. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Peter Winker)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.