Small Business Economics

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 137–160 | Cite as

The effect of working time preferences and fair wage perceptions on entrepreneurial intentions among employees

  • Arndt Werner
  • Johanna Gast
  • Sascha Kraus


To date, little is known about how working time preferences and fair wage perceptions affect employees’ entrepreneurial intentions. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study, we provide first evidence that the difference between the actual and desired amount of working hours in paid employment is positively related to the propensity to switch to self-employment. Furthermore, our analysis supports the hypothesis that employees who perceive their current wage level as very unfair are more likely to have higher entrepreneurial intentions. However, the closer actual wages get to the wage levels perceived as fair, the more employees are likely to remain in their current employment situation. We also tested the interaction effect of working time preferences and fair wage perceptions. In line with our theoretical considerations, we find that employees who perceive their wages as unfair and, simultaneously, prefer different work hours have the strongest entrepreneurial intentions.


Employee entrepreneurship Entrepreneurial intentions Reference points Working time preferences 

JEL Classifications

J3 J24 J28 L26 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Mittelstandsforschung Bonn (IfM Bonn), University of SiegenBonnGermany
  2. 2.Institute for EntrepreneurshipUniversity of LiechtensteinVaduzLiechtenstein
  3. 3.Utrecht University School of EconomicsUtrechtThe Netherlands

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