Working Paper No. 167. Nyström, Kristina (2011). ”Entrepreneurial Policymakers”
Abstract: This paper explores the entrepreneurial experience (and spirit) of Swedish policymakers. To what extent have they been involved in entrepreneurial activities? Are they planning to start any entrepreneurial activities? Are politicians more or less entrepreneurial than their voters? How important are entrepreneurship policies to Swedish politicians? Are entrepreneurship policies more or less important to policymakers compared to the voters they represent? The Members of Parliament were asked the same questions regarding their entrepreneurial activities as found in the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). The empirical results indicate that when, we analyse the statistical significance of the differences and control for individual characteristics, policymakers have similar experiences and ambitions to the rest of the population when it comes to entrepreneurial activities. Policymakers have a high potential for becoming entrepreneurs in the future, but seem to be less optimistic about how entrepreneurs are perceived in the Swedish cultural context. In addition, there is a substantial discrepancy between how policymakers and voters perceive the ease of starting and running a business. Unlike policymakers, voters do not agree that it is easy to start and run a business in Sweden.