Female entrepreneurship and economic activity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

176 Scopus citations


Several studies and aid programs claim the contribution to welfare resulting from female entrepreneurship to be higher than that resulting from the activity of men. Unfortunately, however, the number of women entrepreneurs is significantly lower than that of men. Although quite a bit of attention has been paid to the existence of gender differences in entrepreneurial behavior, the causes of such differences are significantly less understood. No general agreement exists on whether they result from contextual or evolutionary causes and, in particular, no consensus exists on whether such differences are, at least to some extent, linked to the per-capita GDP of a country. Using a large set of data covering individuals from 34 nations, this article makes an initial attempt to address these questions. Although exploratory, the results suggest that per-capita GDP levels are significantly associated with the gender gap in entrepreneurial behavior but that subjective perceptions also play an important role. In contrast, individual demographic and economic conditions are found to be of relatively little importance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)294-312
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Development Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • development
  • entrepreneurship
  • gender
  • women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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