Fear of failure: what drives it in Latin America?

Samuel Mongrut, Nidia Juárez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle in a journalpeer-review


We identify and quantify the impact of several factors that may affect the individuals’ affective arousal towards fear of failure given the external situation they may face in five Latin American countries: Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru. Originality: We propose a model of fear of failure experience and test a reduce version of it. In doing this we identify differences in the factors between countries due to their different contexts. Methodology: We use an unbalanced logit-panel model for Latin America during years 2010-2015 and we also run a robustness check using a logistic cross-sectional model. Results: We find that being female and single mother increases the individuals’ fear of failure, while age and higher education reduces it. The individuals’ self-perception reduces their fear of failure in almost 19 %, which implies that a positive self-perception will help them to overcome their affective arousal towards fear of failure. We also find that individuals’ contact network may mitigate and past negative business experience may magnify the affective arousal towards fear of failure, but these effects change among countries. Recommendations: In order to foster individuals’ positive response towards fear of failure, business incubators need to work on the personal traits of them, especially excessive overconfidence. Furthermore, regional governments need to take measures to promote higher female participation and entrepreneurial education for all. Limitation: We are subject to the limitation of the GEM database in the data collection Conclusion: Individuals’ experience towards fear of failure is a process that is being affected by his gender, age, education, and self-perception. Furthermore, it is a dynamic process that is mitigated or magnified with the entrepreneurs’ network and past negative business experience.
Translated title of the contributionMiedo al fracaso: ¿Qué lo impulsa en América Latina?
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-501
Number of pages29
JournalRevista Mexicana de Economía y Finanzas
Issue number2
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2020


  • Entrepreneurship
  • fear of failure
  • behavioral entrepreneurship


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