Necessity and Opportunity Entrepreneurship: The Mediating Effect of Culture

This paper studies the mediating role of cultural values in explaining the total entrepreneurial activity (TEA) and the entrepreneurs’ motivation -differentiating opportunity versus necessity motives- in countries with different levels of development. Data for 56 countries coming from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and the Schwartz Value Survey (Schwartz, 1994, 2006b) are analysed using structural equations modelling. The results show that only in higher income countries do Autonomy values boost entrepreneurial activity. Additionally, higher entrepreneurship is found in countries where Egalitarianism predominates, and the effect becomes stronger as income level rises. Furthermore, the Egalitarianism-Hierarchy dimension is also very relevant in explaining the opportunity/necessity ratio.

Francisco LIÑÁN
José Fernández-Serrano
Isidoro ROMERO
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