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The Entrepreneurial Propensity of Women

24 Pages Posted: 3 May 2007  

Nan S. Langowitz

Babson College - Management Division

Maria Minniti

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management


Entrepreneurship is becoming an increasingly important source of employment for women across many countries. The level of female involvement in entrepreneurial activity, however, is still significantly lower than that of men. We take a behavioral economics approach and, using a large sample of individuals in 17 countries, we investigate what variables influence the entrepreneurial propensity of women and whether those variables have a significant correlation with differences across genders. In addition to demographic and economic variables, we include a number of perceptual variables. Our results show that subjective perceptual variables have a crucial influence on the entrepreneurial propensity of women and account for much of the difference in entrepreneurial activity between the sexes. Specifically, we find that women tend to perceive themselves and the entrepreneurial environment in a less favorable light than men across all countries in our sample and regardless of entrepreneurial motivation. Our results suggest that perceptual variables may be significant universal factors influencing entrepreneurial behavior.

Suggested Citation

Langowitz, Nan S. and Minniti, Maria, The Entrepreneurial Propensity of Women. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Vol. 31, No. 3, pp. 341-364, May 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=982699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6520.2007.00177.x

Nan Langowitz

Babson College - Management Division ( email )

Babson Park, MA 02157
United States
(781) 239-4496 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.babson.edu

Maria Minniti (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Whitman School of Management ( email )

721 University Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2130
United States

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