The effect of cultural environment on entrepreneurial decisions

Morales, M. & Velilla, J (2021). The effect of cultural environment on entrepreneurial decisions. International Journal of Social Economics, 48(9), 1309-1330.



This paper empirically examines whether the cultural environment plays a role in entrepreneurial decisions in Europe, the United States, Canada and Australia.


To explore this issue, we use data from the Adult Population Survey of 2010–2015 provided by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). To calculate the cultural factor, we utilize additional information from the GEM National Expert Survey data and estimate a probit model to measure the effect of culture based on an unobserved latent variable of satisfaction, measured through a dichotomous variable identifying entrepreneurs.


Results show a positive and statistically significant relationship between the cultural factor and the individual choice of entrepreneurial activity. Our findings are subjected to a range of robustness checks. We extend this analysis to an examination of cultural values as predictors of entrepreneurship status in collectivist and individualist countries. Our results point to collectivist and individualist roles as being among the mechanisms through which the cultural environment may operate.


This is the first empirical work that clusters a wide range of variables provided by the GEM NES data to obtain a cultural indicator, and then applies this indicator to the GEM APS micro-data. Policy-makers should consider these results in order to promote entrepreneurship through culture in collectivist and Mediterranean countries, but use other channels in individualist and Anglo-Saxon countries.

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