Start-Ups Investigate

What's The Difference? Gender, Personality, And The Propensity To Start A Business

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Executive Summary

Women start fewer businesses than men. The start-up rate among women in Germany falls short of males' start-up rate by one third. The authors scrutinize this gender gap using individual-level data from the KfW Start-up Monitor, a large-scale population survey on start-up activity in Germany. As a unique feature, the data combine socio-demographic characteristics, entrepreneurship-related attitudes, and general personality traits of both business starters and non-starters. Estimating binary choice models and employing decomposition techniques, they find that gender differences in socio-demographics alone would even be in favor of higher start-up rates among women, while the distribution of personality traits is less favorable for business start-ups among women and explains about one third of the entire gender difference.

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