Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy No. 0704
The study of predictors of entrepreneurial activity at the country level has been dominated by economic influences. However, the relative stability of differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries suggests that other forces such as institutional and/or cultural factors are at play. The objective of this paper is to explore more specifically how post-materialism may help to explain differences in total entrepreneurial activity across countries. Total entrepreneurial activity is defined as the share of adults in the total population of 18 to 64 years old who are either actively involved in starting a new business or in managing a business less than 42 months old. The measure for post-materialism is based upon Inglehart's four-item post-materialism index. Because of the known interactions between economic, cultural, and social factors found in previous research, a set of economic, demographic and social factors is included to investigate the independent role post-materialism plays in prediction of entrepreneurial activity levels. In particular, per capita income is used to control for economic effects. Education rates at both secondary and tertiary levels are used as a demographic variables. Finally, life satisfaction is included to control for social effects. Data from 28 countries, world-wide, are used to test the hypotheses, based on intersecting data available from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, World Values Survey and other published sources. Findings confirm the significance of post-materialism in predicting total entrepreneurial activity even when controlling for these other factors.
comparative analysis of economies cultural economics entrepreneurship self-employment macro-economic analyses of economic development