IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ems/eureri/8125.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Uncertainty Avoidance and the Rate of Business Ownership Across 21 OECD Countries, 1976-2004

Author

Listed:
  • Wennekers, A.R.M.
  • Thurik, A.R.
  • van Stel, A.J.
  • Noorderhaven, N.

Abstract

Persistent differences in the level of business ownership across countries have attracted the attention of scientific as well as political debate. Cultural as well as economic influences are assumed to play a role. This paper deals with the influence of cultural attitudes towards uncertainty on the rate of business ownership across 21 OECD countries. First, the concepts of uncertainty and risk are elaborated, as well as their relevance for entrepreneurship. An occupational choice model is introduced to underpin our reasoning at the macro-level. Second, regression analysis using pooled macro data for 1976, 1990 and 2004 and controlling for several economic variables, yields evidence that uncertainty avoidance is positively correlated with the prevalence of business ownership. According to our model, a restrictive climate of large organizations in high uncertainty avoidance countries pushes individuals striving for autonomy towards self-employment. Regressions for these three years separately show that in 2004, this positive correlation is no longer found, indicating that a compensating pull of entrepreneurship in countries with low uncertainty avoidance may have gained momentum in recent years. Third, an interaction term between uncertainty avoidance and GDP per capita in the pooled panel regressions shows that the historical negative relationship between GDP per capita and the level of business ownership is substantially weaker for countries with lower uncertainty avoidance. This suggests that rising opportunity costs of self-employment play a less important role in this cultural environment, or are being compensated by increasing entrepreneurial opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Wennekers, A.R.M. & Thurik, A.R. & van Stel, A.J. & Noorderhaven, N., 2006. "Uncertainty Avoidance and the Rate of Business Ownership Across 21 OECD Countries, 1976-2004," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-065-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:8125
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repub.eur.nl/pub/8125/ERS-2006-065-ORG.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-131, April.
    2. Baum, J. Robert & Olian, Judy D. & Erez, Miriam & Schnell, Eugene R. & Smith, Ken G. & Sims, Henry P. & Scully, Judith S. & Smith, Ken A., 1993. "Nationality and work role interactions: A cultural contrast of Israeli and U.S. entrepreneurs' versus managers' needs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 499-512, November.
    3. Isabel Grilo & Jesus-Maria Irigoyen, 2006. "Entrepreneurship in the EU: To Wish and not to be," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 26(4), pages 305-318, May.
    4. Chittenden, Francis & Hall, Graham & Hutchinson, Patrick, 1996. "Small Firm Growth, Access to Capital Markets and Financial Structure: Review of Issues and an Empirical Investigation," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 59-67, February.
    5. Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik, 2008. "Determinants of entrepreneurial engagement levels in Europe and the US," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1113-1145, December.
    6. Schultz, T Paul, 1990. "Women's Changing Participation in the Labor Force: A World Perspective," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 457-488, April.
    7. 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.
    8. David Audretsch & Max Keilbach, 2004. "Entrepreneurship Capital and Economic Performance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 949-959.
    9. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-467, June.
    10. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-827, August.
    11. Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Ingrid Verheul & David Audretsch, 2001. "An eclectic theory of entrepreneurship: policies, institutions and culture," Scales Research Reports H200012, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    12. Lorraine Uhlaner & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 161-185, April.
    13. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    14. Yamada, Gustavo, 1996. "Urban Informal Employment and Self-Employment in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 289-314, January.
    15. David Blanchflower & A Oswald, 1993. "Entrepreneurship," CEP Discussion Papers dp0134, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    16. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew & Stutzer, Alois, 2001. "Latent entrepreneurship across nations," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 680-691, May.
    17. Pekka Ilmakunnas & Vesa Kanniainen & Uki Lammi, "undated". "Entrepreneurship, Economic Risks, and Risk-Insurance in the Welfare State," EPRU Working Paper Series 99-03, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
    18. 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.
    19. Sander Wennekers & Andre van Stel & Niels Noorderhaven & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Role Of Dissatisfaction And Per Capita Income In Explaining Self-Employment Across 15 European Countries," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    20. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    21. Shane, Scott, 1993. "Cultural influences on national rates of innovation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 59-73, January.
    22. Sander Wennekers & André Stel & Roy Thurik & Paul Reynolds, 2008. "Nascent entrepreneurship and the level of economic development," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 325-325, March.
    23. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    24. 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.
    25. Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2005. "Latent and actual entrepreneurship in Europe and the US: some recent developments," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    26. Jacqueline Snijders, 2000. "Entrepreneurship in the Netherlands: Opportunities and threats to nascent entrepreneurship," Scales Research Reports A199908, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    27. Niels G. Noorderhaven & Sander Wennekers & Geert Hofstede & A. Roy Thurik & Ralph E. Wildeman, 1999. "Self-Employment out of Dissatisfaction: An International Study," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 99-089/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    28. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-748, August.
    29. Lin, Zhengxi & Picot, Garnett & Compton, Janice, 2000. "The Entry and Exit Dynamics of Self-Employment in Canada," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 105-125, September.
    30. 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.
    31. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632.
    32. Simon C. Parker & Martin T. Robson, 2004. "Explaining International Variations in Self-Employment: Evidence from a Panel of OECD Countries," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(2), pages 287-301, October.
    33. David Audretsch & Roy Thurik, 2004. "A Model of the Entrepreneurial Economy," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-12, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    34. Andre van Stel, "undated". "COMPENDIA: Harmonizing business ownership data across countries and over time," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-05, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    35. Roy Thurik & Lorraine Uhlaner & Jan Hutjes, 2002. "Post-Materialism as a Cultural Factor Influencing Entrepreneurial Activity across Nations," Scales Research Reports H200202, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    36. Blanchflower, David G & Meyer, Bruce D, 1994. "A Longitudinal Analysis of the Young Self-Employed in Australia and the United States," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 1-19, February.
    37. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. "Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Sander Wennekers & Roy Thurik & André van Stel & Niels Noorderhaven, 2003. "Uncertainty Avoidance and the Rate of Business Ownership across 22 OECD Countries, 1976-2000," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-089/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 01 Sep 2004.
    2. Peter van der Zwan & Ingrid Verheul & Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Progress: Climbing the Entrepreneurial Ladder in Europe and the US," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-070/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 17 Mar 2010.
    3. Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik, 2008. "Determinants of entrepreneurial engagement levels in Europe and the US," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(6), pages 1113-1145, December.
    4. Lorraine Uhlaner & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 161-185, April.
    5. Thai, Mai Thi Thanh & Turkina, Ekaterina, 2014. "Macro-level determinants of formal entrepreneurship versus informal entrepreneurship," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 490-510.
    6. Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik, 2005. "Entrepreneurial engagement levels in the European Union," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-29, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    7. Ingrid Verheul & André Van Stel & Roy Thurik, 2006. "Explaining female and male entrepreneurship at the country level," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 151-183, March.
    8. Isabel Grilo & Jesus Maria Irigoyen, 2005. "Entrepreneurship in the EU: to wish and not to be," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-01, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    9. Verheul, Ingrid & Thurik, Roy & Grilo, Isabel & van der Zwan, Peter, 2012. "Explaining preferences and actual involvement in self-employment: Gender and the entrepreneurial personality," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 325-341.
    10. Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2005. "Latent and actual entrepreneurship in Europe and the US: some recent developments," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2005-24, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    11. Luis Medrano-Adán & Vicente Salas-Fumás & J. Sanchez-Asin, 2015. "Heterogeneous entrepreneurs from occupational choices in economies with minimum wages," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 597-619, March.
    12. Enrico Santarelli & Marco Vivarelli, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the process of firms’ entry, survival and growth," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(3), pages 455-488, June.
    13. Niklas Elert, 2014. "What determines entry? Evidence from Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 55-92, August.
    14. Stephan F. Gohmann, 2012. "Institutions, Latent Entrepreneurship, and Self–Employment: An International Comparison," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 36(2), pages 295-321, March.
    15. Jolanda Hessels & Marco Gelderen & Roy Thurik, 2008. "Entrepreneurial aspirations, motivations, and their drivers," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 323-339, October.
    16. Wennekers, Sander & van Stel, André & Carree, Martin & Thurik, Roy, 2010. "The Relationship between Entrepreneurship and Economic Development: Is It U-Shaped?," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 6(3), pages 167-237, July.
    17. Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Ingrid Verheul & David Audretsch, 2001. "An eclectic theory of entrepreneurship: policies, institutions and culture," Scales Research Reports H200012, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    18. Paul A. Coomes & Jose Fernandez & Stephan F. Gohmann, 2013. "The Rate of Proprietorship Among Metropolitan Areas: The Impact of the Local Economic Environment and Capital Resources," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 37(4), pages 745-770, July.
    19. James Foreman-Peck & Peng Zhou, 2013. "The strength and persistence of entrepreneurial cultures," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(1), pages 163-187, January.
    20. Roy Thurik & Lorraine Uhlaner, 2004. "Post-Materialism: A Cultural Factor influencing Total Entrepreneurial Activity across Nations," Scales Research Reports N200321, EIM Business and Policy Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Business Ownership; Comparative Analysis of Economies; Cross Country Study; Cultural Economics; Entrepreneurship; Uncertainty Avoidance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics
    • 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

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:ems:eureri:8125. 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: (RePub). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/erimanl.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    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.