This paper investigates the impact of entrepreneurs’ human capital on their growth aspirations and the moderating role of regional entrepreneurial culture in this relationship. Based on human capital theory, we argue that growth aspirations will be higher for individuals with higher educational attainment and lower for those with prior entrepreneurial experience. Drawing on an institutional perspective, we also suggest that regional social acceptance of entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial role models will positively moderate these effects. Using data that combines individual and province level information in Spain over the period 2008–2014, we find support for the differential effect of formal education and entrepreneurial experience. The results also show that both social approval of entrepreneurship and role models tend to increase the growth aspirations of experienced entrepreneurs, whereas aspirations of the more educated ones are only affected by the presence of role models. Implications from the findings are discussed.
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According to the information provided by the Spanish National Institute of Statistics (Instituto Nacional de Estadística or INE) 55 to 60% of the firms created in a given year in Spain have disappeared in 5 years.
Because their high levels of population density, we omit 2 provinces corresponding to Ceuta and Melilla that are two independent cities geographically located in North Africa but that belong to the Kingdom of Spain. Their inclusion in the analyses does not affect our results and conclusions.
An alternative methodological approach to control for the effect of heterogeneity across groups is to estimate linear regression models taking into consideration the clustering of standard errors at the province level. It is worth noting that results using this alternative approach are fully consistent with the ones reported here.
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The authors thank Julio O. de Castro, Iñaki Peña, Alain Fayolle, John C. Dencker and Vera Rocha for their helpful comments and suggestions. We are grateful for useful feedback from seminar participants at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign), USASBE 2014, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, VIII GEM Conference, DRUID Conference 2015, AOM 2015, and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. We appreciate the valuable comments from Associate Editor Martin Obschonka and two anonymous reviewers. The authors acknowledge financial support from projects ECO2013-46954-C3-1-R, ECO2013-46954-C3-2-R, ECO2013-48496-C4-2-R and ECO2013-48496-C4-4-R (Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation). We also thank the GEM project for its support to this research.
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Capelleras, JL., Contin-Pilart, I., Larraza-Kintana, M. et al. Entrepreneurs’ human capital and growth aspirations: the moderating role of regional entrepreneurial culture. Small Bus Econ 52, 3–25 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-017-9985-0