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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.

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Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 15 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 579-593

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:15:y:2006:i:3:p:579-593
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  1. Andreas Bergh, 2005. "On Inter- and Intra-Individual Redistribution of the Welfare State," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(s1), pages 984-995.
  2. Steven J. Davis & Magnus Henrekson, 2004. "Tax Effects on Work Activity, Industry Mix and Shadow Economy Size: Evidence from Rich-Country Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 10509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. James K. Galbraith, 2006. "Some notes on entrepreneurship and welfare state," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 203-207, February.
  4. Samuel Bowles, 1998. "Endogenous Preferences: The Cultural Consequences of Markets and Other Economic Institutions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 75-111, March.
  5. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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, 02.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521828130 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Bianchi, Milo & Henrekson, Magnus, 2005. "Is Neoclassical Economics still Entrepreneurless?," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 584, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 02 Feb 2005.
  9. Henrekson, Magnus & Roine, Jesper, 2006. "Promoting Entrepreneurship in the Welfare State," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 621, Stockholm School of Economics.
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Sten Nyberg & Jšrgen W. Weibull, 1999. "Social Norms And Economic Incentives In The Welfare State," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 1-35, February.
  11. Lindbeck, Assar, 1982. "Tax Effects versus Budget Effects on Labor Supply," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 20(4), pages 473-89, October.
  12. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521030632 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality In The United States, 1913-1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-39, February.
  14. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  15. Acs, Zoltan J & Phillips, Ronnie J, 2002. " Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy in American Capitalism," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 189-204, November.
  16. Henrekson, Magnus, 2002. "Entrepreneurship: A Weak Link in the Welfare State," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 518, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 04 Mar 2005.
  17. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  18. Freeman, Richard B, 1995. "The Large Welfare State as a System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 16-21, May.
  19. Hans-Werner Sinn, 1996. "Social insurance, incentives and risk taking," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 3(3), pages 259-280, July.
  20. Ronald Dore, 2006. "The entrepreneurial house has many mansions," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 207-213, February.
  21. Lindbeck, Assar, 1995. "Hazardous Welfare-State Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 9-15, May.
  22. North, Douglass C. & Weingast, Barry R., 1989. "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in Seventeenth-Century England," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 803-832, December.
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