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Entrepreneurial intention in the time of crisis: a field study


  • A. Arrighetti


  • F. Landini


  • L. Caricati


  • N. Monacelli



The aim of the work is to investigate the impact of a prolonged economic recession on the entrepreneurial intentions of young people (university students) distinguishing between propensity to start a new business (i.e. degree of interest in entrepreneurship) and perceived likelihood of becoming an entrepreneur (i.e. probability to succeed). Furthermore we verify if the recession strengthens the orientation to exploit new market opportunities, or simply supports self-employment objectives.Design/methodology/approach–Entrepreneurial intent and feasibility and psycho-social and economic variables concerning a sample of 3684 Italian university students enrolled in 12 different faculties. Information was gathered through questionnaires distributed in both electronic and paper-and-pencil form. Findings–Firstly, we found that while the perceived strength of the economic crisis does not impact on the propensity towards entrepreneurship, it has a negative and highly significant impact on the likelihood to start a business. Secondly, when we distinguished between opportunity-based and necessity-based types, we found that while for the latter the crisis impacts only on the perceived likelihood to become an entrepreneur, for the former it affects both dimensions of entrepreneurship, i.e., both propensity and perceived likelihood. Moreover, neither family support nor economic institutions are perceived as relevant in sustaining entrepreneurial intentions. On the contrary, the university is considered as a key support entity. Originality/value–The present paper is one of the few studies concerning the influence of rapid worsening of external economic context (severe recession) on the entrepreneurial intent. Research limitations–Reliance on cross-sectional questionnaires instead of an experimental design imposes caution about the causal relationships between predictors and entrepreneurial intent

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  • A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & L. Caricati & N. Monacelli, 2015. "Entrepreneurial intention in the time of crisis: a field study," Economics Department Working Papers 2015-EP05, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:par:dipeco:2015-ep05

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Stefanescu, Răzvan & Dumitriu, Ramona, 2016. "Planificarea financiarǎ pentru decizii asupra antreprenoriatului - Partea întâi
      [Financial planning for decisions on entrepreneurship, Part I]
      ," MPRA Paper 74829, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 30 Oct 2016.

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    entrepreneurial intention; university students; Italy; economic crisis; opportunity; necessity;

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