Can female entrepreneurs boost social mobility in developing countries? An institutional analysis

Sebastian Aparicio, David Audretsch, Maria Noguera, David Urbano*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Entrepreneurship has been linked to economic development at the regional and national levels, yet the microeconomic nuances of entrepreneurial diversity and the challenges that different entrepreneurs face in producing social benefits remain unexplored. Numerous studies have recognised that a gender gap exists not only in entrepreneurship but also in development outcomes, such as firm performance and poverty alleviation. Few, though, have considered the role of institutions in incentivising women and men in the generational improvement process, such as social mobility. Hence, does the institutional environment framing gender differences constrain or enable potential effects of female (compared with male) entrepreneurs on microeconomic outcomes such as social mobility? We investigate the institutional influence on the probability of becoming a female entrepreneur and the effect of this decision on social mobility in developing countries. We test gender comparisons through two-stage probit least squares (2SPLS), showing that post-materialism, autonomy, network membership, democracy, and respect for human rights have positive effects on both women's and men's self-employment jointly as well as female self-employment specifically. We also show that the decision to become an entrepreneur has a greater influence on social mobility for female than for male entrepreneurs. Policy implications regarding gender equality are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number121401
Number of pages15
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • Developing countries
  • Female entrepreneurship
  • Female self-employment
  • Institutional economics
  • Social mobility


Dive into the research topics of 'Can female entrepreneurs boost social mobility in developing countries? An institutional analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this