The Role of Dissatisfaction and Per Capita Income in Explaining Self-Employment Across 15 European Countries

Posted: 11 Nov 2009

See all articles by Roy Thurik

Roy Thurik

Montpellier Business School; Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Centre for Advanced Small Business Economics (CASBEC); Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM); EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research; Tinbergen Institute

S. Wennekers

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research

Andre van Stel

Panteia

N. Noorderhaven

Tilburg University and Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

The differences in the rate of self-employmentduring the period 1978 to 2000 across 15 European countries is explained, focusing on the influence of dissatisfaction and per capita income as determinants of aggregate self-employment.Measures of aggregated dissatisfaction are used in combination with economic, social, and demographic variables of members of the European Union.Motivational factors that influence the willingness to be self-employed are examined at the individual level and considered as to whether they can be aggregated at the national level. Data are drawn from an EIM database (called Compendia 2000.2) and other OECD sources.Two measures of dissatisfaction are used: (1) dissatisfaction with life, and (2) dissatisfaction with the way democracy works.Also measured were self-employment rates, labor income share, and GDP per capita.Findings indicate that, in addition to the significant, negative impact of per capita income, dissatisfaction with life at the level of societies has a significant, positive influence on self-employment levels. Dissatisfaction with life and self-employment are indicators of job dissatisfaction.Two factors for self-employment are identified: push (low wages and job dissatisfaction) and pull (possibility of high profits and tax evasion).Policy makers may want to scrutinize incentive structures in their economies and consider how the educational system contributes to developing entrepreneurial qualities. (TNM)

Keywords: Job satisfaction, COMPENDIA 2000.2, Comparative Entrepreneurship Data for International Analysis, Eurobarometer: Public Opinion in the European Community, Experimental/primary research, Motivation, Self-employment, Income

Suggested Citation

Thurik, Roy and Wennekers, Sander and Stel, Andre van and Noorderhaven, Niels, The Role of Dissatisfaction and Per Capita Income in Explaining Self-Employment Across 15 European Countries (2004). Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Vol. 28, Issue 5, p. 447-466 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1503891

Roy Thurik (Contact Author)

Montpellier Business School

France

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Centre for Advanced Small Business Economics (CASBEC) ( email )

3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands
+31 10 408 2232 (Phone)
+31 10 408 9146 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.thurik.com

Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) ( email )

P.O. Box 1738
3000 DR Rotterdam
Netherlands

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research

Postbus 7001
2701 AA Zoetermeer
Netherlands
+31 79 341 3634 (Phone)
+31 79 331 3742 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Burg. Oudlaan 50
Rotterdam, 3062 PA
Netherlands

Sander Wennekers

EIM Netherlands - Business and Policy Research ( email )

Postbus 7001
2701 AA Zoetermeer
Netherlands
31 79 3413634 (Phone)

Andre van Stel

Panteia

Postbus 7001
Zoetermeer, 2701
Germany

Niels Noorderhaven

Tilburg University and Institute for Research on Intercultural Cooperation ( email )

Postbus 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31-13-4662420 (Phone)

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