Journal of Evolutionary Economics

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 161–185 | Cite as

Postmaterialism influencing total entrepreneurial activity across nations

Regular Article

Abstract

The relative stability of differences in entrepreneurial activity across countries suggests that other than economic factors are at play. The objective of this paper is to explore how postmaterialism may explain these differences. A distinction is made between nascent entrepreneurship, new business formation and a combination of the two, referred to as total entrepreneurial activity, as defined within the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). The model is also tested for the rate of established businesses. The measure for postmaterialism is based upon Inglehart’s four-item postmaterialism index. A set of economic, demographic and social factors is included to investigate the independent role postmaterialism plays in predicting 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 demographic variables. Finally, life satisfaction is included to control for social effects. Data from 27 countries (GEM, World Values Survey and other sources) are used to test the hypotheses. Findings confirm the significance of postmaterialism in predicting total entrepreneurial activity and more particularly, new business formation rates.

Keywords

Comparative analysis of economies Cultural economics Entrepreneurship Self-employment Macro-economic analyses of economic development 

JEL Classification

P52 Z1 M13 O11 O57 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.European Family Business Institute, Centre for Advanced Small Business Economics, Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Centre for Advanced Small Business Economics, Erasmus School of EconomicsErasmus University RotterdamRotterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.EIM Business and Policy ResearchZoetermeerThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany

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