Review of Managerial Science

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 353–394 | Cite as

Prior education and entrepreneurial intentions: the differential impact of a wide range of fields of study

Original Paper


Studies on entrepreneurial intentions often neglect the heterogeneity of individuals’ education background. This paper develops an integrated intention-based framework and analyzes the impact of fields of study on entrepreneurial intentions. Based on a sample of 2423 final-year students, enrolled in 32 fields of study, and resorting to logistic estimations, we find that, beside the attitude towards starting a business, fields of study, considered at a highly detailed level, are relevant (direct and indirect) predictors of entrepreneurial intention. We unambiguously show that there is a huge hidden potential for new venture creation in fields of study related to creative and leisure activities (e.g., Arts and humanities, or, more specifically, Literature and linguistics, History and archaeology, Audio-visual techniques and media production, Sports, and Architecture and town planning), Law, and Health (most notably, Pharmacy and Veterinary). Significant differences in the level of intention between students of different fields of study indicate that universities should more extensively focus entrepreneurship education on students in other subject area than business or engineering/technology sciences.


Entrepreneurial intentions Entrepreneurial motivation Prior educational background of entrepreneurs Antecedents of entrepreneurial intentions 

JEL classification

J24 M21 C25 

Supplementary material

11846_2015_188_MOESM1_ESM.docx (86 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 86 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CEF.UP, Faculdade de Economia Porto, INESC TecUniversidade do PortoPortoPortugal

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