In early 2020, it became clear that policy and public health responses to the pandemic would generate an unprecedented economic crisis. Entrepreneurship is documented as helping economies recover from economic slowdowns (Koellinger & Thurik, Review of Economics and Statistics 94, 1143–1156, 2012). Hence, the immediate reaction of our Rotterdam and Montpellier entrepreneurship research groups was to start looking for ways to assess the development of entrepreneurial intention (EI). In particular, we focus on students, since they may be the ones to create a novel wave of firms to fill in the gaps caused by the crisis or to replace firms weakened by the crisis. The present analysis is the first to investigate whether and in which direction EI has changed in the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic using a survey of approximately 1000 students from Erasmus University Rotterdam. Moreover, we study how a set of COVID-19-related, context-related, and demographic variables is connected to changes in EI. While most students report their EI to be unaffected by the pandemic, 16% report a decrease in EI, and 19% report an increase in EI. These changes appear to be most strongly associated with pandemic-induced changes in mental health and with gender. We find that students who report a negative change in their mental health are more likely to indicate lower EI rather than higher EI. Moreover, females are more likely to indicate decreased EI due to the pandemic, while males are more likely to report increased EI, indicating a potential increase in the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Additionally, students with higher trust in the government are less likely to report lower EI relative to similar EI. Finally, we also find associations between change in EI and expected income in 10 years, compliance with COVID-19 regulations, age, and international student status.
|Title of host publication||International Studies in Entrepreneurship|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
|Series||International Studies in Entrepreneurship|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Acknowledgements The current study is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam International COVID-19 Student Survey, a larger project in which data of students from ten countries was collected. RT is also member of LabEx Entrepreneurship, funded by the French government (LabEx Entreprendre, ANR-10-Labex-11-01).
The current study is part of the Erasmus University Rotterdam International COVID-19 Student Survey, a larger project in which data of students from ten countries was collected. RT is also member of LabEx Entrepreneurship, funded by the French government (LabEx Entreprendre, ANR-10-Labex-11-01).
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG.