IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Gender, risk aversion and remuneration policies of entrepreneurs


  • Jan de Kok
  • Ingrid Verheul
  • Mirjam van Praag


In theory, for many small and medium-sized enterprises the introduction of performance-related pay might be beneficial: if implemented properly, it could help enterprises in selecting, hiring and motivating the right employees for the right jobs. So far, however, performance-related pay in SMEs has received little academic attention. One of the few studies that examined determinants of performance-related pay amongst SMEs found support for the presence of gender effects; not only regarding the gender of the employees, but also regarding the gender of the entrepreneur. In this paper we have further investigated these gender effects in remuneration policies. The central idea is that female and male entrepreneurs make different choices regarding their human resource management practices, including remuneration policies. Amongst others, these choices are related to the risk aversion of the entrepreneur as well as of the employees. Generally speaking, women are more risk averse than men. This may apply to entrepreneurs as well as to employees. This leads to various hypotheses that are tested empirically. Generally speaking, the results provide only limited support for our hypotheses. Our results are fairly consistent with the standard assumption that employees are risk averse (and female employees more than male employees) while employers (entrepreneurs) are not. At the same time, the support for our hypotheses is so limited that we have conducted a critical re-examination of our basic assumptions. This suggests that gender effects in remuneration policies may (also) be caused by gender differences in labour force attachment rather than in risk aversion.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan de Kok & Ingrid Verheul & Mirjam van Praag, 2011. "Gender, risk aversion and remuneration policies of entrepreneurs," Scales Research Reports H201105, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h201105

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    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:h201105. 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: . 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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Webmaster EIM The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Webmaster EIM to update the entry or send us the correct address (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    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.