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

Author

Listed:
  • Verheul, I.
  • Thurik, A.R.
  • Grilo, I.

Abstract

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 socio-demographic 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Verheul, I. & Thurik, A.R. & Grilo, I., 2008. "Explaining Preferences and Actual Involvement in Self-Employment: New Insights into the Role of Gender," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-003-ORG, 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:10979
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marco Gelderen & Roy Thurik & Niels Bosma, 2006. "Success and Risk Factors in the Pre-Startup Phase," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 319-335, May.
    2. Verheul, Ingrid & Uhlaner, Lorraine & Thurik, Roy, 2005. "Business accomplishments, gender and entrepreneurial self-image," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 483-518, July.
    3. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2007. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1067-1101.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, July.
    6. Peter van der Zwan & Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2010. "The entrepreneurial ladder and its determinants," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(17), pages 2183-2191.
    7. Thurik, A. Roy & Carree, Martin A. & van Stel, André & Audretsch, David B., 2008. "Does self-employment reduce unemployment?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 673-686, November.
    8. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
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    10. 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.
    11. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, May.
    12. Pia Arenius & Maria Minniti, 2005. "Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 233-247, February.
    13. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Andersson Joona, Pernilla & Wadensjö, Eskil, 2008. "A Gender Perspective on Self-Employment Entry and Performance as Self-Employed," IZA Discussion Papers 3581, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Dawson, Christopher & Henley, Andrew, 2012. "Gender, Risk and Venture Creation Intentions," IZA Discussion Papers 6947, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    determinants of entrepreneurship; gender; latent & nascent entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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