Firm Size and Business Startup Reasons of Japanese Workers

Author Name TSUCHIYA Ryuichiro  (Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University)
Creation Date/NO. March 2010 10-E-012
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Small firms are more likely to produce entrepreneurs than large firms. This study empirically examines a potential mechanism that might explain this phenomenon, observed in previous research, using Japanese survey data of employees planning to start businesses. The data contain information on employer, job, and personal characteristics and also indicates the reasons for starting the businesses. The results from a principal component analysis of various startup reasons identify four separate component factors that account for 70 percent of variance: a need for self-fulfillment, a need for flexibility in work schedule, a need to solve a career problem, and a need to secure a livelihood. I empirically examine the relationship between rating scores for these factors and the size of employers. The results from multivariate regression models indicate that the score for a need to solve a career problem was significantly higher for those working for small firms, while none of the other three factors are significantly different between employees of large and small firms. In addition, the results also suggest that the relationship between the need to solve a career problem and employment of small firms is associated with the tendency for middle managers. The implications of these findings for researchers and policy-makers are discussed.