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‘Surfeiting, The Appetite May Sicken’: Entrepreneurship and the Happiness of Nations

  • Wim Naudé

    (Maastricht School of Management, The Netherlands and UNU‐WIDER, Helsinki, Finland.)

  • José Ernesto Amorós

    (Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.)

  • Oscar Cristi

    (Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.)

We know that entrepreneurs – at least those driven by opportunities – can contribute to economic growth, productivity improvements and competitiveness in national economies.. But do they contribute to happiness on the country level? In other words, does the happiness of nations depend on its entrepreneurs? And what about happy nations – are they better places for entrepreneurs to start‐up new businesses? In this paper we survey the literature on entrepreneurship and happiness, and use various data sources, primarily from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, to find tentative evidence of an inverse U‐shape relationship between entrepreneurship and national happiness We also find a bi‐directional causality between entrepreneurship and happiness on a country level On an individual level however, national happiness is found to have a negative effect on the probability of becoming an entrepreneur. We conclude that entrepreneurship may make nations happier, but as nations become happier, their need and imperative for entrepreneurship seems to decline. Hence, not everybody should become entrepreneurs and the happiness of a nation cannot be –indefinitely increased by increasing the numbers of entrepreneurs.

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Paper provided by Maastricht School of Management in its series Working Papers with number 2011/07.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:msm:wpaper:2011/07
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