This paper investigates why women’s self-employment rates are consistently lower than those of men. It has three focal points. It discriminates between the preference for self-employment and actual involvement in self-employment using a two (probit) equation model. It makes a systematic distinction between different ways in which gender influences the preference for and actual involvement in self-employment (mediation and moderation). It includes perceived ability as a potential driver of self-employment next to risk attitude, self-employed parents and other socio-demographic drivers. A representative data set of more than 8,000 individuals from 29 countries (25 EU member states, US, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) is used (the 2004 Flash Eurobarometer survey). The findings show that women’s lower preference for becoming self-employed plays an important role in explaining their lower involvement in self-employment and that a gender effect remains that may point at gender-based obstacles to entrepreneurship.

determinants of entrepreneurship, gender, latent & nascent entrepreneurship
Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting (jel M), Personnel Management (jel M12), New Firms; Startups (jel M13), Management of Technological Innovation and R&D (jel O32)
Erasmus Research Institute of Management
hdl.handle.net/1765/10979
ERIM Report Series Research in Management
ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Verheul, I, Thurik, A.R, & Grilo, I. (2008). Explaining Preferences and Actual Involvement in Self-Employment: New Insights into the Role of Gender (No. ERS-2008-003-ORG). ERIM report series research in management Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Erasmus Research Institute of Management. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/10979