IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

New Firm Creation: A Global Assessment of National, Contextual and Individual Factors


  • Reynolds, Paul D.


The prevalence of individuals actively involved in business creation among 75 countries varies from one in thirty (Japan, Belgium, France) to one in three (Peru, Uganda). Predictive models reflecting five national aspects — economic, structural, centralized control, population potential for entrepreneurship, and cultural support — are able to account for 63% to 93% of the variation in 23 types of business creation. The most important factors associated with the prevalence of business creation are the capacity of the population to participate in business start-ups, a high prevalence of small businesses, participation of women in the labor force, the presence of informal investors, emphasis on traditional rather than secular–rational values, presence of young adults, and income inequality. The use of log linear regression modeling to predict individual participation in 15 types of business creation explained from 14% to 41% of the variance. Personal attributes, national cultural and social norms, and personal context were much more likely to be associated with individual participation in business creation than characteristics of the national economy, economic structure, population readiness for business creation or centralized control of economic activity. The primary policy implication is that efforts to directly prepare individuals for business creation are more likely to have an impact compared to adjustments in regulatory procedures or legal standards. The assessment demonstrates the considerable value from harmonized cross national data on business creation and national attributes. There remains, however, substantial opportunity for improving understanding of the entrepreneurial process.

Suggested Citation

  • Reynolds, Paul D., 2011. "New Firm Creation: A Global Assessment of National, Contextual and Individual Factors," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 6(5–6), pages 315-496, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000034

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-131, April.
    2. Paul Reynolds & Niels Bosma & Erkko Autio & Steve Hunt & Natalie De Bono & Isabel Servais & Paloma Lopez-Garcia & Nancy Chin, 2005. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data Collection Design and Implementation 1998–2003," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 205-231, February.
    3. Blanchflower, David G., 2000. "Self-employment in OECD countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 471-505, September.
    4. David Audretsch & Max Keilbach, 2004. "Entrepreneurship Capital and Economic Performance," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 949-959.
    5. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58.
    6. André van Stel & Martin Carree, 2002. "Business ownership and sectoral growth," Scales Research Reports H200206, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    7. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    8. Yamada, Gustavo, 1996. "Urban Informal Employment and Self-Employment in Developing Countries: Theory and Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(2), pages 289-314, January.
    9. David B. Audretsch & Max Keilbach, 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Growth and Restructuring," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2006-13, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    10. Ingrid Verheul & Sander Wennekers & David Audretsch & Roy Thurik, 2001. "An Eclectic Theory of Entrepreneurship: Policies, Institutions and Culture," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-030/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    11. David B. Audretsch & A. Roy Thurik, 2000. "Capitalism and democracy in the 21st Century: from the managed to the entrepreneurial economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 17-34.
    12. Sander Wennekers & Andre van Stel & Niels Noorderhaven & Roy Thurik, 2004. "The Role Of Dissatisfaction And Per Capita Income In Explaining Self-Employment Across 15 European Countries," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2004-11, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
    13. C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
    14. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Paul D. Reynolds, 2004. "Explaining variation in nascent entrepreneurship," Scales Research Reports H200401, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    15. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    16. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-670, May.
    17. Havnes, Pers-Anders & Senneseth, Knut, 2001. "A Panel Study of Firm Growth among SMEs in Networks," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 16(4), pages 293-302, June.
    18. Martin Carree & André Van Stel & Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers, 2007. "The relationship between economic development and business ownership revisited," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 281-291, May.
    19. Fonseca, Raquel & Lopez-Garcia, Paloma & Pissarides, Christopher A., 2001. "Entrepreneurship, start-up costs and employment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 692-705, May.
    20. Echevarria, Cristina, 1997. "Changes in Sectoral Composition Associated with Economic Growth," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 38(2), pages 431-452, May.
    21. Acs, Zoltan J & Audretsch, David B, 1987. "Innovation, Market Structure, and Firm Size," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 567-574, November.
    22. Siri Terjesen & Jolanda Hessels, 2009. "Varieties of export-oriented entrepreneurship in Asia," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 537-561, September.
    23. Philipp Koellinger, 2008. "Why are some entrepreneurs more innovative than others?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 21-37, June.
    24. Michael D. Giandrea & Kevin E. Cahill & Joseph F. Quinn, 2008. "Self-Employment Transitions among Older American Workers with Career Jobs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 684, Boston College Department of Economics.
    25. Lois Stevenson & Anders Lundström, 2007. "Dressing the Emperor: The Fabric of Entrepreneurship Policy," Chapters,in: Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship Policy, chapter 6 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    26. Baum, J. Robert & Olian, Judy D. & Erez, Miriam & Schnell, Eugene R. & Smith, Ken G. & Sims, Henry P. & Scully, Judith S. & Smith, Ken A., 1993. "Nationality and work role interactions: A cultural contrast of Israeli and U.S. entrepreneurs' versus managers' needs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 8(6), pages 499-512, November.
    27. Sander Wennekers, 2006. "Entrepreneurship at Country Level : Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," Scales Research Reports R200602, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    28. Schultz, T Paul, 1990. "Women's Changing Participation in the Labor Force: A World Perspective," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 457-488, April.
    29. Ulrike Muehlberger & Silvia Pasqua, 2006. "The “Continuous Collaborators” in Italy. Hybrids between Employment and Self-employment?," CHILD Working Papers wp10_06, CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY.
    30. Schaffner, Julie Anderson, 1993. "Rising incomes and the shift from self-employment to firm-based production," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 41(4), pages 435-440.
    31. Zoltan Acs, 2006. "How Is Entrepreneurship Good for Economic Growth?," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, MIT Press, vol. 1(1), pages 97-107, March.
    32. Laura Abramovsky & Rachel Griffith, 2006. "Outsourcing and Offshoring of Business Services: How Important is ICT?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 594-601, 04-05.
    33. Acs, Zoltán J & Audretsch, David B & Braunerhjelm, Pontus & Carlsson, Bo, 2004. "The Missing Link: The Knowledge Filter and Entrepreneurship in Endogenous Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 4783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    34. Syrquin, Moshe, 1988. "Patterns of structural change," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 203-273 Elsevier.
    35. Carree, Martin A. & Nijkamp, Joyce, 2001. "Deregulation in retailing: the Dutch experience," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 53(2-3), pages 225-235.
    36. Sander Wennekers & Mickey Folkeringa, 2002. "The development of self-employment rate in the Netherlands 1899-1997," Scales Research Reports N200221, EIM Business and Policy Research.
    37. Prusa, Thomas J. & Schmitz, James Jr., 1991. "Are new firms an important source of innovation? : Evidence from the PC software industry," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 339-342, March.
    38. Fernando Merino & Diego Rodríguez Rodríguez, 2007. "Business services outsourcing by manufacturing firms," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(6), pages 1147-1173, December.
    39. Jovanovic, B., 1993. "The Diversification of Production," Working Papers 93-11, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
    40. Jackson, Laurence Fraser, 1984. "Hierarchic Demand and the Engel Curve for Variety," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 8-15, February.
    41. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Kim, Phillip H. & Longest, Kyle C. & Lippmann, Stephen, 2015. "The tortoise versus the hare: Progress and business viability differences between conventional and leisure-based founders," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 185-204.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:now:fntent:0300000034. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alet Heezemans). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.