A Research Perspective
Edited by Candida G. Brush, Anne de Bruin, Elizabeth J. Gatewood and Colette Henry
Chapter 2: Entrepreneurship, Gender and Job Creation: European Dynamics
Marc Cowling INTRODUCTION Since the seminal Birch (1979) job generation study researchers have become interested in quantifying the numbers of jobs created by smaller firms and the nature of entrepreneurs who create these jobs. Early empirical papers focused explicitly on relative shares of net new jobs (see, for example, Davidsson et al. 1998; Davis et al., 1996), while others (Westhead and Cowling, 1995) focused on the relative impact of new technologybased versus more conventional small firms. A related strand of research focused explicitly on identifying the characteristics that differentiated job-creating entrepreneurs from lifestyle-oriented businesses (Burke et al., 2001; Carroll et al., 1996; Cowling et al., 2004). Researchers have also become increasingly interested in two potentially related issues, that of gender differences in the propensity to become an entrepreneur (Brush, 1999; de Bruin et al., 2007), and potential gender impacts on business performance (see Kalleberg and Leicht, 1991, for an early seminal work). On the former the evidence is fairly consistent across countries and time, and broadly finds that males have a higher basic propensity to start their own business. Yet even this has been shown not to hold across all countries (Cowling, 2000, 2003), with Finland identified as a notable exception. Marlow et al. (2008) also point out the important influences of history and culture in determining the relative prevalence of female entrepreneurship across countries. Yet Cowling and Bygrave (2007) find that differences in institutional arrangements and welfare systems have little impact on necessity (or pushed) entrepreneurship rates across countries....