Small Business Economics

, Volume 42, Issue 4, pp 703–716 | Cite as

Institutional dimensions and entrepreneurial activity: an international study

  • David UrbanoEmail author
  • Claudia Alvarez


The purpose of this article is to examine the influence of institutional dimensions (regulative, normative and cultural-cognitive) on the probability of becoming an entrepreneur. The main findings demonstrate, through logistic regression, that a favourable regulative dimension (fewer procedures to start a business), normative dimension (higher media attention for new business) and cultural-cognitive dimension (better entrepreneurial skills, less fear of business failure and better knowing of entrepreneurs) increase the probability of being an entrepreneur. Data were obtained from both the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and the International Institute for Management and Development for the year 2008, considering a sample of 30 countries and 36,525 individuals. The study advances the literature by providing new information on the environmental factors that affect entrepreneurial activity in the light of institutional economics. Also, the research could be useful for designing policies to foster entrepreneurship in different environments.


Entrepreneurial activity Entrepreneurship Institutional dimensions Regulative dimension Normative dimension Cultural-cognitive dimension GEM 

JEL Classification




The authors appreciate helpful comments by David Audretsch in the previous versions of this manuscript. Also, the authors acknowledge the financial support from projects ECO2010-16760 (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation) and 2005SGR00858 (Catalan Government Department for Universities, Research and Information Society).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Economics DepartmentAutonomous University of BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.University of MedellínMedellínColombia

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