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Economic regulation, opportunity-driven entrepreneurship and gender gap: emerging versus high-income economies

Elena Bárcena-Martín (University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain)
Samuel Medina-Claros (PhD Program in Economics and Business, University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain)
Salvador Pérez-Moreno (University of Malaga, Malaga, Spain)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 16 February 2021

Issue publication date: 23 July 2021




Institutional environment plays a crucial role in determining the nature of entrepreneurship that prevails in an economy. In this paper, the authors address how business, labour and credit regulations contribute differently to both the overall prevalence of opportunity-driven entrepreneurship (ODE) and its gender gap in high-income and emerging economies.


On the basis of an unbalanced panel of 41 countries over the period 2005–2016, the authors estimate system generalised method of moment models. The authors also perform an ordinary least square analysis to address gender differences in ODE.


The authors find that higher credit market liberalisation is especially associated with more entrepreneurship by opportunity. Nevertheless, while credit market regulation stands out as a key element to promote opportunity-based entrepreneurship in both high-income and emerging countries, in the emerging world business regulation is also largely related to the prevalence of opportunity entrepreneurship. In terms of gender gap, business and labour market freedom seem to exert an equalising effect on the divide in entrepreneurship by opportunity, specifically in emerging economies.


Findings allow the identification of regulatory policy reform priorities to enhance the prevalence of ODE depending on the level of a country's development. They also identify which specific areas of economic regulation would speed up closing the gender gap in opportunity entrepreneurship.



Authors gratefully thank the anonymous referees and the editor for their useful comments.Funding: This work was partially financed by the Regional Government of Andalusia (P18RT4115).


Bárcena-Martín, E., Medina-Claros, S. and Pérez-Moreno, S. (2021), "Economic regulation, opportunity-driven entrepreneurship and gender gap: emerging versus high-income economies", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 27 No. 5, pp. 1311-1328.



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