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Entrepreneurship and the welfare state: a reply


  • Magnus Henrekson


It is widely recognized that the supply of entrepreneurial talent is likely to be important for economic growth, innovation, and job creation. In Henrekson (2005, Industrial and Corporate Change, 14(3), 437--467), it was shown that the supply of productive entrepreneurship is likely to be reduced by the kind of tax and welfare arrangements that prevail in a mature welfare state. Welfare state institutions developed mostly during a period when it was common among politicians and economists to assume that individual entrepreneurship and new firms were of minor importance. However, in an environment where entry, exit, and turnover of firms are important for growth, and where scale economies are less important, this kind of model may be more problematic. There are a number of measures that can be implemented to strengthen entrepreneurial incentives within extensive welfare states, but their implementation is unlikely because there are strong vested interests, including the incumbent business elite, defending the current model. A number of objections against this analysis have been raised by James K. Galbraith and Ronald Dore in the previous issue of Industrial and Corporate Change. In this reply, it is shown that these objections are either largely unfounded or just misunderstandings. Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Henrekson, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and the welfare state: a reply," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(3), pages 579-593, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:579-593

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    References listed on IDEAS

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