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

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

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.

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File URL: http://repub.eur.nl/pub/10979/ERS-2008-003-ORG.pdf
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Paper provided by 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 in its series ERIM Report Series Research in Management with number ERS-2008-003-ORG.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:10979
Contact details of provider: Postal: RSM Erasmus University & Erasmus School of Economics, PoBox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam
Phone: 31-10-408 1182
Fax: 31-10-408 9020
Web page: http://www.erim.eur.nl/
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  1. Roy Thurik & Ingrid Verheul & Lorraine Uhlaner, 2003. "Business accomplishments, gender and entrepreneurial self-image," Scales Research Reports N200312, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  2. Audretsch, David B & Carree, Martin A & Thurik, A R Roy & van Stel, André, 2005. "Does Self-Employment Reduce Unemployment?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5057, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. 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.
  4. Muriel Niederle & Lise Vesterlund, 2005. "Do Women Shy Away From Competition? Do Men Compete Too Much?," NBER Working Papers 11474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Marco Gelderen & Roy Thurik & Niels Bosma, 2005. "Success and Risk Factors in the Pre-Startup Phase," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 365-380, 05.
  6. Pia Arenius & Maria Minniti, 2005. "Perceptual Variables and Nascent Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 233-247, 02.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Andrew E. Burke & Felix R. FitzRoy & Michael A. Nolan, 2000. "Self-Employment Wealth and Job Creation: The Roles of Gender, Non-Pecuniary Motivation and Entrepreneurial Ability," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0006, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  11. Bates, Timothy, 1995. "Self-employment entry across industry groups," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 143-156, March.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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