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Post-Materialism as a Cultural Factor Influencing Entrepreneurial Activity across Nations

  • Uhlaner, L.M.
  • Thurik, A.R.
  • Hutjes, J.

The study of the determinants of entrepreneurship at the country level has been dominated by economic influences. The relative stability of differences in levels of entrepreneurship across coun-tries suggests that other forces such as certain institutional and/or cultural factors are at play. The objective of this paper is to explore how post-materialism explains differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries. Entrepreneurial activity is defined as the percent of a country?s popula-tion that is self-employed, using a broad definition that also includes CEOs of both unincorporated and legally incorporated establishments. The measure for post-materialism is based upon Ingle-hart?s four-item post-materialism index. Because of the known interactions between economic and cultural factors found in previous research, a set of economic and cultural factors is included to provide a clearer picture of the independent role post-materialism plays in prediction of self-employment levels. In particular, education, life satisfaction, church attendance and political (left or right) extremism are used as control variables in our analyses using data of 14 OECD countries over in recent period. Findings confirm the significance of post-materialism in predicting self-employment even when controlling for economic and cultural factors. However, strong covariation between post-materialism and other cultural factors makes it difficult to clearly discriminate be-tween the effects.

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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-2002-62-STR.

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Date of creation: 25 Jun 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ems:eureri:208
Contact details of provider: Postal: RSM Erasmus University & Erasmus School of Economics, PoBox 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam
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  1. Audretsch, David B & Thurik, A R Roy, 2000. "Impeded Industrial Restructuring: The Growth Penalty," CEPR Discussion Papers 2648, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Tiessen, James H., 1997. "Individualism, collectivism, and entrepreneurship: A framework for international comparative research," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 12(5), pages 367-384, September.
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  4. BLUM, Ulrich & DUDLEY, Leonard, 2001. "Religion and Economic Growth: Was Weber Right?," Cahiers de recherche 2001-05, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  5. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
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  7. Ulrich Blum & Leonard Dudley, 2001. "Religion and economic growth: was Weber right?," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 11(2), pages 207-230, February.
  8. McGrath, Rita Gunther & MacMillan, Ian C. & Scheinberg, Sari, 1992. "Elitists, risk-takers, and rugged individualists? An exploratory analysis of cultural differences between entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 115-135, March.
  9. David G. Blanchflower, 2000. "Self-Employment in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 7486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Teece, David J, 1993. "The Dynamics of Industrial Capitalism: Perspectives on Alfred Chandler's Scale and Scope," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(1), pages 199-225, March.
  11. Lee, Sang M. & Peterson, Suzanne J., 2000. "Culture, entrepreneurial orientation, and global competitiveness," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 401-416, January.
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