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Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations

  • Lorraine Uhlaner

    ()

  • Roy Thurik

    ()

The study of predictors of entrepreneurial activity at the country level has been dominated by economic influences. However, the relative stability of differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries suggests that other forces such as institutional and/or cultural factors are at play. The objective of this paper is to explore more specifically how post-materialism may help to explain differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries. A distinction is made between nascent entrepreneurship, new business formation and a combination of the two, referred to as total entrepreneurial activity, as defined within the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. The model is also tested for the rate of established businesses, as distinct from nascent and young firms. The measure for post-materialism is based upon Inglehart's four-item post-materialism index. Because of the known interactions between economic, cultural, and social factors found in previous research, a set of economic, demographic and social factors is included to investigate the independent role post-materialism plays in prediction of entrepreneurial activity levels. In particular, per capita income is used to control for economic effects. Education rates at both secondary and tertiary levels are used as demographic variables. Finally, life satisfaction is included to control for social effects. Data from 27 countries, world-wide, are used to test the hypotheses, based on intersecting data available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, World Values Survey and other published sources. Findings confirm the significance of post-materialism in predicting total entrepreneurial activity and more particularly, new business formation rates, even when controlling for these other factors.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Journal of Evolutionary Economics.

Volume (Year): 17 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 161-185

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Handle: RePEc:spr:joevec:v:17:y:2007:i:2:p:161-185
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  1. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul, 2004. "Explaining female and male entrepreneurship across 29 countries," Scales Research Reports N200403, EIM Business and Policy Research.
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  3. Audretsch, David B, et al, 2002. "Impeded Industrial Restructuring: The Growth Penalty," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 81-97.
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  7. Sander Wennekers & Andre van Stel & Niels Noorderhaven & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Role Of Dissatisfaction And Per Capita Income In Explaining Self-Employment Across 15 European Countries," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  8. Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Ingrid Verheul & David Audretsch, 2001. "An eclectic theory of entrepreneurship: policies, institutions and culture," Scales Research Reports H200012, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  9. Sander Wennekers & André Stel & Roy Thurik & Paul Reynolds, 2008. "Nascent entrepreneurship and the level of economic development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 325-325, March.
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  12. Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2005. "Latent and actual entrepreneurship in Europe and the US: some recent developments," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  13. Baum, J. Robert & Olian, Judy D. & Erez, Miriam & Schnell, Eugene R. & Smith, Ken G. & Sims, Henry P. & Scully, Judith S. & Smith, Ken A., 1993. "Nationality and work role interactions: A cultural contrast of Israeli and U.S. entrepreneurs' versus managers' needs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 499-512, November.
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  22. Uhlaner, L.M. & Thurik, A.R. & Hutjes, J., 2002. "Post-Materialism as a Cultural Factor Influencing Entrepreneurial Activity across Nations," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2002-62-STR, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  23. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
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