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Dilli, Selin

Dilli, Selin

Instituut Gak Fellow

Female Entrepreneurship in the Twentieth Century Netherlands

Research Question

How did female entrepreneurship evolve in the twentieth century Netherlands and which factors can explain this change over time?

Project Description

Despite the fact that the number of female entrepreneurs tripled in the Netherlands since the 1960s, the share of female entrepreneurs who generate jobs and innovate remains limited today. While social science literature offers explanations on the recent gender gap in entrepreneurship, historical studies show evidence that Dutch women engaged in diverse forms of entrepreneurship in the past. Therefore, using a combination of social science theories with a historical perspective, this project will collect new evidence to identify the conditions under which the different forms of female entrepreneurship have emerged and declined in the Netherlands during the twentieth century.

Selected Publications

1) Dilli, S., Rijpma, A. & Carmichael, S.G. (2019). Introducing the Historical Gender Equality Index. Feminist Economics, 25 (1), (pp. 31–57).,

2) Dilli, S. (2019). The diversity of labor market institutions and entrepreneurship. Socio-Economic Review, online first, https://doi.org/10.1093/ser/mwz027.,

3) Dilli, S. & Westerhuis, G.K. (2018). How Institutions and Gender Differences in Education Shape Entrepreneurial Activity – A Cross-national Perspective. Small Business Economics, 51, (pp. 371-392).


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