PhD defence of Peter van der Zwan on Thursday 26 May 2011
On Thursday 26 May 2011 Peter van der Zwan will defend his PhD thesis entitled 'The entrepreneurial process: an international analysis of entry and exit'. Supervisor is professor Roy Thurik and co-supervisor is professor Patrick Groenen.
Time and location
The PhD defence will take place in the Senate Hall of Erasmus University Rotterdam and will start at 15.30 hrs.
About the PhD thesis
This thesis deals with the entrepreneurial process from an international perspective. The first part explores which people decide to enter entrepreneurship. A distinction is made between two modes of entrepreneurial entry: taking over an existing firm and starting a new firm. The second part focuses on the exit side and examines the determinants of exit before and exit after business start-up. In addition, the decision to re-enter entrepreneurship after having experienced an entrepreneurial exit is analyzed in this second part.
This thesis is of particular interest to policymakers, partly due to its dynamic approach. That is, this thesis distinguishes between several stages that make up the decision to become an entrepreneur. The stages range from no entrepreneurial activity to intentional, nascent, young, and established entrepreneurship (the “entrepreneurial ladder”). The conclusions of this thesis may help governments to intervene at positions on the entrepreneurial ladder where certain characteristics, such as perceptions about the entrepreneurial environment, hinder entrepreneurial progress or where regions lag behind.
We find that people with pessimistic views about the administrative start-up environment are discouraged in having intentions or undertaking attempts to set up their own businesses (particularly in Europe). Policies should be aimed at tackling inflated perceptions of administrative barriers (in case of misperceptions of the environment) or directly lowering these barriers. Exit before start-up and exit after business start-up have different determinants. For example, urbanization is negatively related to exit before start-up and positively related to exit after start-up. This finding points at the presence of overoptimistic entrepreneurs and strong selection mechanisms in these areas. Furthermore, individuals are inclined to enter the entrepreneurial process again after having experienced an exit. This finding holds true for positive as well as negative exit experiences.
Peter van der Zwan (1984) finished his grammar school education in Den Haag in 2002 (Christelijk Gymnasium Sorghvliet). He graduated cum laude in Econometrics and Management Science at the Erasmus School of Economics in 2007. Subsequently, he started his PhD in Economics under the supervision of Professor Roy Thurik, again in Rotterdam. During his four years of research, Peter has co-authored a wide range of articles on the determinants of entrepreneurial engagement and exit. Several of them have been published in international journals such as Industrial and Corporate Change, Journal of Economic Psychology, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, and Small Business Economics. Peter presented his work at various international conferences. Currently, he is employed at the Erasmus School of Economics and EIM Business & Policy Research.
See for more information:
For more information about this ceremony, please contact the Press Office of Erasmus University Rotterdam phone +31 10 408 1216, email press@. eur.nl
Publication date: 09 May 2011