Institutional determinants of student employer entrepreneurs at Catalan universities

David Urbano, Sebastian Aparicio, Maribel Guerrero, Maria Noguera, Joan Torrent-Sellens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This article investigates the influence of informal and formal institutions on the university students' decision of becoming employer entrepreneurs (university students that create a new firm with employees) in the context of Catalonia. A sample of 1207 students from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya were surveyed for the period of 2012–2015, and Probit regressions over pooled data were used. The main findings suggest that formal factors (university's lack of incentives to create a new business, entrepreneurial knowledge, training and skills, and entrepreneurship education) are higher correlated with the student employer entrepreneurs than informal institutions (role models, entrepreneur's social image and fear of failure). Despite that the entrepreneur's social image does not seem to have an influence on the entrepreneurial decision of university students, the other variables analysed are statistically significant, correlated with entrepreneurship as a choice. Specifically, entrepreneurship education is the most relevant variable in explaining the decision of university students becoming employer entrepreneurs. The paper contributes with policy discussions in order to extend the current debate about the role of the universities in the entrepreneurial process and also the importance of entrepreneurial universities to the society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)271-282
Number of pages12
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
StatePublished - Oct 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Entrepreneurial universities
  • Institutions
  • Job creation Catalonia
  • Student employer entrepreneurs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Institutional determinants of student employer entrepreneurs at Catalan universities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this