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Title: Entrepreneurial aspirations and transitions into self-employment
Author: Dawson, Christopher George
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis uses data from the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) and a small scale survey on student entrepreneurship conducted by the School of Business and Economics at Swansea University, in assessing entrepreneurial intentions and transitions into self-employment. Analysis of entrepreneurial motivations has largely been confined to 'push' versus 'pull' factors. Very few studies, if any, have analysed individual-specific factors associated with entrepreneurial motivations. In addressing this issue, the analysis documents the extent to which there is heterogeneity amongst the self-employed on the basis of the motivations that they report for choosing self-employment. Multivariate regression analysis is employed using a method to control for self-selection into self-employment. Background characteristics such as gender, educational attainment, housing tenure and region of residence are found to be important factors influencing entrepreneurial motives. Relative to males, females are less likely to show entrepreneurial intent and subsequently participate in self-employment, however little is known about precisely why this is. Using decomposition analysis, the gap in entrepreneurial intent probabilities is examined across gender. Attitudes towards risk are found to be a major factor associated with the gap in average levels of entrepreneurial intentions between males and female students, accounting for very nearly half of the total gap. Within Wales there seems to exist a widespread perception that the younger population views entrepreneurship less positively than their counterparts elsewhere in the UK. The analysis examines whether differences in entrepreneurial intention probabilities between Welshdomiciled and non-Welsh domiciled students can be explained by a range of demographic factors, family characteristics and psychological traits. Family and other background influences are found to be important contributors to the non-Welsh and Welsh gap, while differences in risk attitudes appear to provide the largest single component of the intentions gap between the two groups. Entrepreneurs may differ from non-entrepreneurs in terms of a range of personal characteristics, family and social background and personal resources. Cognitive or behavioural factors may also be important in determining who becomes an entrepreneur. Data from the BHPS indicates that unrealistic optimism is significantly and positively associated with the probability of being both self-employed and an aspiring entrepreneur. Furthermore, unrealistic optimism is found to be persistent and a factor affecting duration in selfemployment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Self-employed--Great Britain ; Entrepreneurship