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Socio-cognitive traits and entrepreneurship: The moderating role of economic institutions

Christopher Boudreaux, Boris N. Nikolaev and Peter Klein

Journal of Business Venturing, 2019, vol. 34, issue 1, 178-196

Abstract: We examine how country-level institutional context moderates the relationship between three socio-cognitive traits—entrepreneurial self-efficacy, alertness to new business opportunities, and fear of failure—and opportunity entrepreneurship. To do this, we blend social cognitive theory (SCT) with institutional theory to develop a multi-level model of entrepreneurial entry. We merge data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) surveys and the Economic Freedom of the World (EFW) index for 45 countries from 2002 to 2012. Our results, which are based on a multi-level fixed-effects model, suggest that entrepreneurs' self-efficacy and alertness to new opportunities promote opportunity entrepreneurship while fear of failure discourages it. However, the strength of these relationships depends on the institutional context, with entrepreneurial self-efficacy and alertness substantially more likely to lead to new opportunity-driven ventures in countries with higher levels of economic freedom. These results provide suggestive evidence that economic freedom not only channels individual effort to productive entrepreneurial activities, but also affects the extent to which individuals' socio-cognitive resources are likely to mobilized and lead to high-growth entrepreneurship.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Economic freedom; Socio-cognitive; Multilevel analysis; Motivation; Necessity; Opportunity; Alertness; Opportunity recognition (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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