Abstract

There is a growing concern recently about the need to understand entrepreneurial cognitions. Perceptions may be influenced by several factors, such as personal and social ones. In this sense, most research has focused on individual factors affecting entrepreneurial attitudes and, through them, intentions. On the other hand, in the light of institutional economics (North, 1990 and 2005), some authors have studied environmental factors (specifically informal elements such as the attitudes towards entrepreneurship) affecting the decision to start an entrepreneurial career. Nevertheless, much less work has been done to understand the social variables affecting these perceptions, and how they may be affected by regional differences. This paper tries to identify the elements that may be explaining regional variations in entrepreneurial cognitions, in order to analyze the relationship among motivational factors (based on Ajzen´s 1991 theory), environmental factors (based on North’s 1990 and 2005 ideas), and some control variables; and how they affect start-up intentions.

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