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Explaining Preferences and Actual Involvement in Self-Employment: New Insights into the role of Gender

  • Roy Thurik
  • Ingrid Verheul
  • Isabel Grilo

This paper investigates why women’s self-employment rates are consistently lower than those of men. It has three focal points. It discriminates between the preference for self-employment and actual involvement in self-employment using a two (probit) equation model. It makes a systematic distinction between different ways in which gender influences the preference for and actual involvement in self-employment (mediation and moderation). It includes perceived ability as a potential driver of self-employment next to risk attitude, self-employed parents and other sociodemographic drivers. A representative data set of more than 8,000 individuals from 29 countries (25 EU member states, US, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) is used (the 2004 Flash Eurobarometer survey). The findings show that women’s lower preference for becoming self-employed plays an important role in explaining their lower involvement in self-employment and that a gender effect remains that may point at gender-based obstacles to entrepreneurship.

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File URL: http://www.entrepreneurship-sme.eu/pdf-ez/H200803.pdf
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Paper provided by EIM Business and Policy Research in its series Scales Research Reports with number H200803.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 12 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h200803
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  1. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
  2. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & David Audretsch & Martin Carree, 2007. "Does Self-Employment Reduce Unemployment?," Scales Research Reports H200709, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  3. Michael Hout & Harvey Rosen, 2000. "Self-Employment, Family Background, and Race," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 670-692.
  4. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away from Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101, 08.
  5. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2002. " Self-Employment Wealth and Job Creation: The Roles of Gender, Non-pecuniary Motivation and Entrepreneurial Ability," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 255-70, November.
  6. Marco van Gelderen & Niels Bosma & Roy Thurik, 2003. "Success and risk factors in the pre-startup phase," Scales Research Reports N200314, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  7. Ingrid Verheul & Lorraine Uhlaner & Roy Thurik, 2004. "Business Accomplishments, Gender And Entrepreneurial Self-Image," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-10, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  8. Frederic Delmar & Per Davidsson, 2000. "Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, January.
  9. KruegerJR, Norris F. & Reilly, Michael D. & Carsrud, Alan L., 2000. "Competing models of entrepreneurial intentions," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 15(5-6), pages 411-432.
  10. Riding, Allan L. & Swift, Catherine S., 1990. "Women business owners and terms of credit: Some empirical findings of the Canadian experience," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(5), pages 327-340, September.
  11. John O. Ogbor, 2000. "Mythicizing and Reification in Entrepreneurial Discourse: Ideology-Critique of Entrepreneurial Studies," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5), pages 605-635, 07.
  12. Pia Arenius & Maria Minniti, 2005. "Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 233-247, 02.
  13. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  14. Van Praag, C Mirjam & Van Ophem, Hans, 1995. "Determinants of Willingness and Opportunity to Start as an Entrepreneur," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 513-40.
  15. repec:dgr:uvatin:20060103 is not listed on IDEAS
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