Original Research

Country-level entrepreneurship: Crowding out the population’s need for autonomy

Colin D. Reddy, Ralph Hamann, Boris Urban
Acta Commercii | Vol 15, No 1 | a292 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v15i1.292 | © 2015 Colin D. Reddy, Ralph Hamann, Boris Urban | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 29 October 2014 | Published: 02 June 2015

About the author(s)

Colin D. Reddy, Department of Business Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
Ralph Hamann, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Boris Urban, Wits Business School, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa


Purpose and problem: Governments through their policy support of new and growing enterprises continue to emphasise economic incentives as if most members of the population prioritise material gain. This article argues that high levels of government policy support for new and growing enterprises crowd out the population’s need for autonomy when potential entrepreneurs perceive government to be controlling.

Methodology: The researchers constructed a country-level panel data set based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Survey, the World Economic Forum competitiveness reports and the International Monetary Fund data base for 44 countries over the period 2000 to 2007. Since we relied on eight years of secondary data, we applied panel analysis to the regressions. We used multiple regression to model the moderating effects of government policy support on the autonomy-entrepreneurship relationship.

Findings: The findings show that government policy support tends to buffer the effect of autonomy on entrepreneurship, lending support to the article’s argument.

Implications: This research has tested one of the most important anomalies in economics on entrepreneurship data: that ‘crowding out’ might reverse the most fundamental economic law, namely that raising economic incentives increases the supply of entrepreneurship.


entrepreneurship; government policy; incentives; culture; autonomy


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Crossref Citations

1. Movements between Entrepreneurship and Paid Employment: Experiences of Polish Entrepreneurs in the International Context
Piotr Zientara, Anna Maria Nikodemska-Wołowik
Problemy Zarzadzania  vol: 14  issue: 3 (62)  first page: 68  year: 2016  
doi: 10.7172/1644-9584.62.5