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Female Entrepreneurship and Economic Activity

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Minniti


    (Southern Methodist University – Strategy, Entrepreneurship & Business Economics, Dallas, TX 75275, USA.)

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    Several studies and aid programs claim the contribution to welfare resulting from female entrepreneurship to be higher than that resulting from the activity of men. Unfortunately, however, the number of women entrepreneurs is significantly lower than that of men. Although quite a bit of attention has been paid to the existence of gender differences in entrepreneurial behavior, the causes of such differences are significantly less understood. No general agreement exists on whether they result from contextual or evolutionary causes and, in particular, no consensus exists on whether such differences are, at least to some extent, linked to the per-capita GDP of a country. Using a large set of data covering individuals from 34 nations, this article makes an initial attempt to address these questions. Although exploratory, the results suggest that per-capita GDP levels are significantly associated with the gender gap in entrepreneurial behavior but that subjective perceptions also play an important role. In contrast, individual demographic and economic conditions are found to be of relatively little importance.Un certain nombre d’études et de programmes d’assistance affirment que la contribution de l’entreprenariat féminin au bien-être social est plus importante que la contribution résultant des activités des hommes. Cependant, le nombre de femmes entrepreneurs est malheureusement sensiblement moins élevé que celui des hommes. Une attention relativement soutenue est consacrée à l’existence de différences entre les hommes et les femmes dans leur comportement entrepreneurial, mais les causes de telles différences sont nettement moins bien comprises. Il n’existe aucun consensus sur les causes, contextuelles ou évolutives, de ces différences; Plus spécifiquement, il n’y a pas de consensus pour dire que de telles différences sont, au moins en partie, liées au PIB par habitant des pays. En se basant sur une grande base de données concernant les individus de 34 pays, cet article fait une première tentative d’exploration de ces questions. Bien qu’exploratoires, les résultats suggèrent que les niveaux de PIB par habitant ont un rapport significatif avec les différences entre les hommes et les femmes dans leurs comportements entrepreneuriaux, mais que les perceptions individuelles jouent également un rôle important. Par contraste, on constate que les conditions individuelles démographiques et économiques ont une influence relativement peu importante.

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    Article provided by Palgrave Macmillan & European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI) in its journal European Journal of Development Research.

    Volume (Year): 22 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 3 (July)
    Pages: 294-312

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    Handle: RePEc:pal:eurjdr:v:22:y:2010:i:3:p:294-312
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