IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Determinants of self-employment preference and realization of women and men in Europe and the United States


  • Roy Thurik
  • Ingrid Verheul
  • Isabel Grilo


Female self-employment rates are consistently lower than those of men. This untapped female potential has drawn the attention of policy makers. In the present paper the determinants of selfemployment rates of both men and women are investigated in the context of a two-equation model explaining both actual self-employment and the preference for self-employment. A systematic distinction is made between different ways in which gender can exert influence on (preference for) self-employment,including moderation, mediation and direct effects. Using Flash Eurobarometer data of about 8,000 individuals from 29 countries (including the 15 old EU member states, 10 new EU member states and the United States) probit equations are estimated explaining the (preference for) self-employment. Next to gender, explanatory variables include age, education, social capital, risk attitude, locus of control and perceptions of the entrepreneurial environment. Findings show that at least part of the explanation of the lower female self-employment rate is caused by a lower preference for women to become self-employed. We do not find evidence for a moderating effect of gender on the relationship between self-employment and the preference for self-employment, indicating that ' other things equal ' women and men who have a preference to become self-employed do not differ with respect to the impact of this preference on its materialization. Read also the new version of this paper: R200803, "Explaining preferences and actual involvement in self-employment: new insights into the role of gender."

Suggested Citation

  • Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul & Isabel Grilo, 2006. "Determinants of self-employment preference and realization of women and men in Europe and the United States," Scales Research Reports H200622, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h200622

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Paul Reynolds & Niels Bosma & Erkko Autio & Steve Hunt & Natalie De Bono & Isabel Servais & Paloma Lopez-Garcia & Nancy Chin, 2005. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data Collection Design and Implementation 1998–2003," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 205-231, February.
    2. Kim, Ji-Hyun, 2003. "Assessing practical significance of the proportional odds assumption," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 233-239, November.
    3. Isabel Grilo & Jesus-Maria Irigoyen, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the EU: To Wish and not to be," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 305-318, May.
    4. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h200622. 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: (Webmaster EIM). General contact details of provider: .

    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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.