Age driven influence of role‐models on entrepreneurship in a transition economy

Esteban M. Lafuente (Department of Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain)
Yancy Vaillant (Department of Business Economics, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Publication date: 15 February 2013



The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential impact of entrepreneurial role models over entrepreneurial activities at different stages of an individual's life cycle in Romania.


To attain this objective, the paper adopts a socio‐institutional approach to entrepreneurship. The authors carry out a rare‐events logit model using a robust Romanian dataset from 2006 comprising 1,449 individuals.


The results indicate that the effect of entrepreneurial role models on entrepreneurial activities differs across age groups. The results indicate that for older individuals the positive effect of role models over entrepreneurship is diluted. In contrast, younger individuals, who have been mainly exposed to a market‐based economy, have a more positive societal valuation of entrepreneurial examples, which increases the positive effect that the knowledge of an entrepreneur has on their attitudes towards entrepreneurial activities.


The main contribution of the study lies in the identification of the specific effect that role models have over individuals' level of implication in entrepreneurial activities. This gives ammunition to the argument that, rather than uniform entrepreneurship support programmes, the effective implementation of policies aimed at fostering entrepreneurship should be designed according to the specific profile of the targeted group of beneficiaries. In this case, the implementation of role models as an effective entrepreneurial promotion tool should take into account the differential impact that entrepreneurial examples have over individuals' behaviour towards entrepreneurship.



Lafuente, E. and Vaillant, Y. (2013), "Age driven influence of role‐models on entrepreneurship in a transition economy", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 20 No. 1, pp. 181-203.

Download as .RIS



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.