The family – a barrier or motivation for female entrepreneurship?
The underrepresentation of women in entrepreneurship is consistent over cultures and countries, and is even higher in Norway than in most other industrialised societies. In spite of a growing literature, the reasons for this pattern are still not well understood. In this paper I explore an area that has been little researched so far, the family and household situation. I study the presence of children and their ages, the role of the partner’s characteristics and the household’s financial resources. The results show that women are more likely to choose self-employment over wage-work when the children are small, indicating that children are no barrier to entrepreneurship, at least not when defined as self-employment as in this paper. The self-employment propensity of both women and men are negatively related to their partner’s working hours and positively related to him (or her) being self-employed himself (herself). The causal direction of these relationships cannot be established in the present analysis and needs to be investigated closer in future research.
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