Heterogeneity in the effect of regulation on entrepreneurship and entry size
NBER Working Paper No. 15510
We use cross-national harmonized micro data from a broad sample of developed and developing countries and investigate the heterogeneity of the effect of entry, contract enforcement regulation, and financial development on both the decision to become an entrepreneur and the level of employment of newly created businesses. We focus on the interaction between the level of regulation and financial development and some individual characteristics that are important determinants of entrepreneurship, such as gender, business skills, and social networks. We find that entry regulation moderates the effect of business skills, while accentuating the effect of gender, even after accounting for the level of financial development. Specifically, women are more likely to enter into entrepreneurship in countries with higher levels of entry regulation, but mainly because they cannot find better work. This effect is also more pronounced in countries that are less financially developed. Furthermore, individuals who report having business skills are less likely to enter entrepreneurship in countries with higher entry regulation. Finally, we also find that individuals who know other entrepreneurs are less likely to start large businesses in countries with higher levels of entry and contract enforcement regulation.