Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 117–131 | Cite as

Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting

  • Andreas Freytag
  • Roy Thurik
Regular Article


The relative stability of differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries suggests that other than economic factors are at play. The present paper offers some new thoughts about the determinants of entrepreneurial attitudes and activities by testing the relationship between institutional variables and cross-country differences in the preferences for self-employment as well as in actual self-employment. Data of the 25 member states of the European Union as well as the US are used. The results show that country specific (cultural) variables seem to explain the preference for entrepreneurship, but cannot explain actual entrepreneurship. The present paper also introduces the remaining four papers of the special issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics, which center around the theme Entrepreneurship and Culture.


Cross-country setting Self-employment 

JEL Classification

L26 M13 O57 P52 Z1 



The authors would like to thank Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, Isabel Grilo, Lorraine Uhlaner, Sander Wennekers, and the participants in the workshop on Entrepreneurship and Culture, Jena, February 7, 2005) for their comments. The workshop was a joint effort of the Max Planck Institute of Economics in Jena, EIM Business and Policy Research in Zoetermeer and the Economics Faculty of the Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena. This paper has been written in the framework of the research program SCALES carried out by EIM and financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Advanced Small Business EconomicsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.EIM Business and Policy ResearchZoetermeerThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany
  4. 4.Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche FakultätFriedrich Schiller Universität JenaJenaGermany
  5. 5.European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE)BrusselsBelgium

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