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Knowledge Context and Entrepreneurial Intentions among Students

38 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2011  

Dirk Dohse

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW)

Sascha G. Walter

Lancaster University - Management School

Date Written: October 13, 2010


The current paper analyzes the role of the individual and regional knowledge context in forming university students’ entrepreneurial intentions. As access to knowledge resources is crucial for the growth and survival of knowledge-based start-ups, we argue that an individual’s decision in favor or against becoming an entrepreneur should critically depend on the multilevel context providing her with access to strategically relevant knowledge. A unique dataset for German students and regions allows us to analyze a variety of personal and regional determinants of entrepreneurial intentions among students. At the individual level we find that role models facilitating the transfer of tacit knowledge and the expectation that strong ties will provide know-how and know-who positively impact entrepreneurial intentions. At the regional level we find that a high regional start-up rate in knowledge-based industries and a high growth rate of regional knowledge production positively influence entrepreneurial intentions.

Keywords: knowledge context, entrepreneurial intentions, occupational choice, knowledge spillover, multi-level analysis

JEL Classification: J24, L26, M13, M59, R12

Suggested Citation

Dohse, Dirk and Walter, Sascha G., Knowledge Context and Entrepreneurial Intentions among Students (October 13, 2010). Small Business Economics, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN:

Dirk Dohse

University of Kiel - Institute for World Economics (IfW) ( email )

Duesternbrooker Weg 120
D-24118 Kiel

Sascha Walter (Contact Author)

Lancaster University - Management School ( email )

Lancaster, LA1 4YX
United Kingdom

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