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K-State Today

January 20, 2017



Entrepreneurship professor Saurav Pathak's paper published in the journal Business & Society

By Brent Fritzemeier

Kansas State University assistant professor of entrepreneurship Saurav Pathak recently had a paper accepted for publication in the journal Business & Society.

The study, "Economic Inequality and Social Entrepreneurship," explores the extent to which income inequality and income mobility — both considered indicators of economic inequality and conditions of formal regulatory institutions, government activism — facilitate or constrain the emergence of social entrepreneurship.

The research was based on a multilevel analysis of more than 75,000 individual responses from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey of 26 countries. The results found that country-level income inequality increases the likelihood of individual-level engagement in social entrepreneurship, while income mobility decreases this likelihood. Further, income mobility negatively moderates the influence of income inequality on social entrepreneurship, such that the condition of low-income mobility and high-income inequality is a stronger predictor of social entrepreneurship.

"We have examined the mechanisms and conditions under which economic inequality increases the likelihood that individuals will engage in social entrepreneurship," Pathak said. "By integrating insights from institutional theory, entrepreneurial opportunities, and social entrepreneurship, we suggest that income inequality increases the likelihood of social entrepreneurship under conditions of low-income mobility. Our study extends the conceptual understanding of economic inequality and contributes to filling the gap in the emerging scholarly literature on effects of context on social entrepreneurship."