The paper studies latent entrepreneurship across nations. There are three main findings. First, large numbers of people in the industrial countries say they would prefer to be self-employed. Top of the international ranking of entrepreneurial spirit come Poland (with 80% saying so), Portugal and the USA; bottom of the table come Norway (with 27% saying so), Denmark and Russia. Second, for individuals the probability of preferring to be self-employed is strongly decreasing with age, while the probability of being self-employed is strongly increasing with age. Third, we show that self-employed individuals have noticeably higher job satisfaction than the employed, so people’s expressed wish to run their business cannot easily be written off as mistaken. We speculate on why so much entrepreneurial spirit lies dormant.
Blanchflower, D. G., Oswald, A., &Stutzer, A. (2001). Latent entrepreneurship across nations. European Economic Review, 45(4-6), 680-691.