Buddhist entrepreneurs, charitable behaviors, and social entrepreneurship: Evidence from China

Zuhui Xu, Zhiyang Liu* (Corresponding Author), Jie Wu* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

To address the lacuna of how informal institutions like Buddhism impact social entrepreneurship in different regions within a nation, this research draws on the social entrepreneurship literature and the regional Buddhist research to propose a mediating framework where the percentage of Buddhist entrepreneurs in a region is positively associated both with the level of prosocial behaviors such as charity, due to the values of Buddhism, and with the probability of establishing businesses in a less-developed region. It further proposes that charitable behaviors mediate the relationship between the percentage of Buddhist entrepreneurs in a region and establishing
businesses in less-developed regions. This mediating effect is attributed to the mechanism that charitable behaviors absorb the limited resources of entrepreneurs, reducing their resources for establishing businesses in
less-developed regions. We test these hypotheses on nationwide surveys of founders of private enterprises and find support for this mediating view. Broad implications for theoretical and empirical research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSmall Business Economics
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • Buddhism
  • informal institution
  • social entrepreneurship
  • Prosocial Behavior
  • China

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