Small Business Economics

, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 447–486 | Cite as

Gender differences in entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship: an empirical analysis



This study examines the gender gap in start-up activities to determine whether it is family status or employment status that is responsible for the observed gender gap. We consider independent entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship as two different start-up modes: While intrapreneurship is conducted within an established organization, independent entrepreneurship is solely an independent activity. This study focuses on this fundamental distinction to identify the parameters of our empirical model. Using nationally representative US data, we find that the effects of being a part-time worker on the likelihood of becoming an independent entrepreneur differ across genders. The obtained results suggest similar findings for intrapreneurship, but in opposite directions. Furthermore, our decomposition results suggest that for both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, the gender differences in the employment-related variables are more significant than those in the family-related variables in affecting the observed gender gap negatively (for entrepreneurship) or positively (for intrapreneurship).


Gender gap Entrepreneurship Intrapreneurship 

JEL Classifications

J15 J16 L26 M13 



We thank Rui Baptista (editor-in-charge) and two anonymous referees for invaluable suggestions. We are also grateful to Taehyun Ahn, Andrew Ching, Yuji Honjo, Hiroaki Ino, Masa Kato, Mizuki Komura, Eiji Mangyo, Hitoshi Mitsuhashi, Akira Nagae, Ryo Nakajima, Hikaru Ogawa, Fumio Ohtake, Atsushi Ohyama, Hiroyuki Okamuro, Lars Osberg, Hideo Owan, Kate Rybczynski, Koji Shirai, Taiki Susa, Hidenori Takahashi, Ryuichi Tanaka, Masa Tsubuku, Shintaro Yamaguchi, Weina Zhou, and seminar and conference participants at Chuo, Dalhousie, Hitotsubashi, Keio, Kwansei Gakuin, Sogang, the 42nd Annual Conference of the European Association for Research in Industrial Economics, the Kansai Research Group for Econometrics, the Tokyo Labor Economics Workshop, the Kansai Labor Research Group, the 50th Annual Conference of the Canadian Economics Association, and the 2016 Spring Meeting of the Japanese Economic Association for helpful comments and discussions on earlier versions of the paper. Special thanks are also due to Rebecca McBee for helping us construct data used in this paper. Adachi acknowledges Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (A) (23243049) and (C) (15K03425) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Any remaining errors are our own.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EconomicsNagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate School of EconomicsOsaka UniversityToyonakaJapan

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