IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/plo/pone00/0129332.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Entrepreneurial Regions: Do Macro-Psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions Help Solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics?

Author

Listed:
  • Martin Obschonka
  • Michael Stuetzer
  • Samuel D Gosling
  • Peter J Rentfrow
  • Michael E Lamb
  • Jeff Potter
  • David B Audretsch

Abstract

In recent years, modern economies have shifted away from being based on physical capital and towards being based on new knowledge (e.g., new ideas and inventions). Consequently, contemporary economic theorizing and key public policies have been based on the assumption that resources for generating knowledge (e.g., education, diversity of industries) are essential for regional economic vitality. However, policy makers and scholars have discovered that, contrary to expectations, the mere presence of, and investments in, new knowledge does not guarantee a high level of regional economic performance (e.g., high entrepreneurship rates). To date, this “knowledge paradox” has resisted resolution. We take an interdisciplinary perspective to offer a new explanation, hypothesizing that “hidden” regional culture differences serve as a crucial factor that is missing from conventional economic analyses and public policy strategies. Focusing on entrepreneurial activity, we hypothesize that the statistical relation between knowledge resources and entrepreneurial vitality (i.e., high entrepreneurship rates) in a region will depend on “hidden” regional differences in entrepreneurial culture. To capture such “hidden” regional differences, we derive measures of entrepreneurship-prone culture from two large personality datasets from the United States (N = 935,858) and Great Britain (N = 417,217). In both countries, the findings were consistent with the knowledge-culture-interaction hypothesis. A series of nine additional robustness checks underscored the robustness of these results. Naturally, these purely correlational findings cannot provide direct evidence for causal processes, but the results nonetheless yield a remarkably consistent and robust picture in the two countries. In doing so, the findings raise the idea of regional culture serving as a new causal candidate, potentially driving the knowledge paradox; such an explanation would be consistent with research on the psychological characteristics of entrepreneurs.

Suggested Citation

  • Martin Obschonka & Michael Stuetzer & Samuel D Gosling & Peter J Rentfrow & Michael E Lamb & Jeff Potter & David B Audretsch, 2015. "Entrepreneurial Regions: Do Macro-Psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions Help Solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics?," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 10(6), pages 1-21, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:plo:pone00:0129332
    DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0129332
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129332
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0129332&type=printable
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1371/journal.pone.0129332?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik, 2010. "Entrepreneurship and its Determinants in a Cross-Country Setting," Springer Books, in: Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik (ed.), Entrepreneurship and Culture, chapter 0, pages 157-170, Springer.
    2. Michael Fritsch & David J. Storey, 2014. "Entrepreneurship in a Regional Context: Historical Roots, Recent Developments and Future Challenges," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 939-954, June.
    3. Nathan Nunn, 2009. "The Importance of History for Economic Development," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 65-92, May.
    4. Henrekson, Magnus & Sanandaji, Tino, 2013. "Small Business Activity Does not Measure Entrepreneurship," Working Paper Series 959, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 26 Jan 2014.
    5. Sascha O. Becker & Ludger Woessmann, 2009. "Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 531-596.
    6. David, Audretsch & Donald, Kuratko & Albert, Link, 2015. "Making Sense of the Elusive Paradigm of Entrepreneurship," UNCG Economics Working Papers 15-4, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    7. Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr & Giacomo A. M. Ponzetto, 2010. "Clusters of Entrepreneurship," NBER Chapters, in: Cities and Entrepreneurship, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund, 2013. "Balanced skills among nascent entrepreneurs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 93-114, June.
    9. Werner Bönte & Oliver Falck & Stephan Heblich, 2009. "The Impact of Regional Age Structure on Entrepreneurship," Economic Geography, Clark University, vol. 85(3), pages 269-287, July.
    10. Sam Youl Lee & Richard Florida & Zoltan Acs, 2004. "Creativity and Entrepreneurship: A Regional Analysis of New Firm Formation," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(8), pages 879-891.
    11. Gartner, William B., 1990. "What are we talking about when we talk about entrepreneurship?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 15-28, January.
    12. Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor, 2013. "The 'Out of Africa' Hypothesis, Human Genetic Diversity, and Comparative Economic Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 1-46, February.
    13. Ewald Kibler & Teemu Kautonen & Matthias Fink, 2014. "Regional Social Legitimacy of Entrepreneurship: Implications for Entrepreneurial Intention and Start-up Behaviour," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 995-1015, June.
    14. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-535, June.
    15. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk & Niels Noorderhaven, 2004. "Entrepreneurial attitude and economic growth: A cross-section of 54 regions," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 38(2), pages 199-218, June.
    16. Nico Voigtländer & Hans-Joachim Voth, 2012. "Persecution Perpetuated: The Medieval Origins of Anti-Semitic Violence in Nazi Germany," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1339-1392.
    17. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson, 2010. "Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 227-244, September.
    18. Aaron Chatterji & Edward Glaeser & William Kerr, 2014. "Clusters of Entrepreneurship and Innovation," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(1), pages 129-166.
    19. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Antonio Terracciano, 2014. "Personality and the Gender Gap in Self-Employment: A Multi-Nation Study," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 9(8), pages 1-11, August.
    20. Ashraf, Quamrul & Galor, Oded, 2008. "Human Genetic Diversity and Comparative Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 6824, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. repec:hrv:faseco:33077824 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Audretsch, David B., 2009. "Entrepreneurship capital and economic growth," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 15, pages 27-45.
    23. Zoltán J. Ács & Pamela Mueller, 2015. "Employment effects of business dynamics: Mice, Gazelles and Elephants," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 16, pages 304-319, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    24. Michael Fritsch & Pamela Mueller, 2007. "The persistence of regional new business formation-activity over time – assessing the potential of policy promotion programs," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 299-315, June.
    25. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "The Effect of Regional Entrepreneurship Culture on Economic Development - Evidence for Germany," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1411, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2014.
    26. Edward L. Glaeser & Joshua D. Gottlieb, 2009. "The Wealth of Cities: Agglomeration Economies and Spatial Equilibrium in the United States," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(4), pages 983-1028, December.
    27. Henderson, Vernon & Kuncoro, Ari & Turner, Matt, 1995. "Industrial Development in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1067-1090, October.
    28. Arthur T. Denzau & Douglass C. North, 1994. "Shared Mental Models: Ideologies and Institutions," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(1), pages 3-31, February.
    29. Martin Obschonka & Eva Schmitt-Rodermund & Rainer K. Silbereisen & Samuel D. Gosling & Jeff Potter, 2013. "The Regional Distribution and Correlates of an Entrepreneurship-Prone Personality Profile in the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom: A Socioecological Perspective," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 550, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    30. Ewald Kibler, 2013. "Formation of entrepreneurial intentions in a regional context," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(3-4), pages 293-323, April.
    31. Berglann, Helge & Moen, Espen R. & Røed, Knut & Skogstrøm, Jens Fredrik, 2011. "Entrepreneurship: Origins and returns," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 180-193, April.
    32. André Stel & Kashifa Suddle, 2008. "The impact of new firm formation on regional development in the Netherlands," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 31-47, January.
    33. Sjoerd Beugelsdijk, 2010. "Entrepreneurial Culture, Regional Innovativeness and Economic Growth," Springer Books, in: Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik (ed.), Entrepreneurship and Culture, chapter 0, pages 129-154, Springer.
    34. Davidsson, Per & Wiklund, Johan, 1997. "Values, beliefs and regional variations in new firm formation rates," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 18(2-3), pages 179-199, April.
    35. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "The Long Persistence of Regional Levels of Entrepreneurship: Germany, 1925-2005," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 955-973, June.
    36. David B. Audretsch (ed.), 2006. "Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 4130.
    37. William J. Baumol, 2013. "The Microtheory of Innovative Entrepreneurship," Journal of Economic Sociology, National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 14(3), pages 96-108.
    38. Audretsch, David B. & Keilbach, Max, 2008. "Resolving the knowledge paradox: Knowledge-spillover entrepreneurship and economic growth," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1697-1705, December.
    39. Jonathan Levie, 2007. "Immigration, In-Migration, Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship in the United Kingdom," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 143-169, March.
    40. Sternberg, Rolf, 2009. "Regional Dimensions of Entrepreneurship," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 5(4), pages 211-340, May.
    41. Davidsson, Per & Honig, Benson, 2003. "The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 301-331, May.
    42. 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.
    43. Martin Andersson & Sierdjan Koster, 2011. "Sources of persistence in regional start-up rates--evidence from Sweden," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 179-201, January.
    44. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, June.
    45. Acs, Zoltan J., 2008. "Foundations of High Impact Entrepreneurship," Foundations and Trends(R) in Entrepreneurship, now publishers, vol. 4(6), pages 535-620, June.
    46. Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the City," NBER Working Papers 13551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Pamela Mueller & André Stel & David Storey, 2008. "The effects of new firm formation on regional development over time: The case of Great Britain," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(1), pages 59-71, January.
    48. Johan Wiklund & Per Davidsson & David B. Audretsch & Charlie Karlsson, 2011. "The Future of Entrepreneurship Research," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 35(1), pages 1-9, January.
    49. Audretsch, David B. & Keilbach, Max C. & Lehmann, Erik E., 2006. "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195183511, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Obschonka, Martin & Stuetzer, Michael & Gosling, Samuel D. & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Lamb, Michael E. & Potter, Jeff & Audretsch, David B., 2015. "Entrepreneurial Regions: Do Macro-psychological Cultural Characteristics of Regions help solve the “Knowledge Paradox” of Economics?," MPRA Paper 65323, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Stuetzer, Michael & Obschonka, Martin & Audretsch, David B. & Wyrwich, Michael & Rentfrow, Peter J. & Coombes, Mike & Shaw-Taylor, Leigh & Satchell, Max, 2016. "Industry structure, entrepreneurship, and culture: An empirical analysis using historical coalfields," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 52-72.
    3. Michael Stuetzer & David B. Audretsch & Martin Obschonka & Samuel D. Gosling & Peter J. Rentfrow & Jeff Potter, 2018. "Entrepreneurship culture, knowledge spillovers and the growth of regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(5), pages 608-618, May.
    4. Michael Wyrwich & Michael Stuetzer & Rolf Sternberg, 2016. "Entrepreneurial role models, fear of failure, and institutional approval of entrepreneurship: a tale of two regions," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 467-492, March.
    5. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "The Effect of Regional Entrepreneurship Culture on Economic Development - Evidence for Germany," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 1411, Utrecht University, Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Group Economic Geography, revised Apr 2014.
    6. Niklas Elert, 2014. "What determines entry? Evidence from Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(1), pages 55-92, August.
    7. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2016. "Does persistence in start-up activity reflect persistence in social capital?," Chapters, in: Hans Westlund & Johan P. Larsson (ed.), Handbook of Social Capital and Regional Development, chapter 4, pages 82-107, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    8. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2012. "The Long Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship Culture: Germany 1925-2005," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-036, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Marco Vivarelli, 2013. "Is entrepreneurship necessarily good? Microeconomic evidence from developed and developing countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 22(6), pages 1453-1495, December.
    10. Michael Stuetzer & Martin Obschonka & Udo Brixy & Rolf Sternberg & Uwe Cantner, 2014. "Regional characteristics, opportunity perception and entrepreneurial activities," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 42(2), pages 221-244, February.
    11. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich, 2015. "The Persistence of Regional Entrepreneurship - Are all types of Self-Employment Equally Important?," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-008, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    12. Frank M. Fossen & Thorsten Martin, 2016. "Entrepreneurial Spillovers over Space and Time," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1618, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    13. Richard J. Arend & Pankaj C. Patel, 2020. "The American Dream, Melting Pot And Regional Knowledge Stock As Drivers Of Entrepreneurial Activity," Journal of Developmental Entrepreneurship (JDE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 25(01), pages 1-35, March.
    14. Michael Fritsch & Sandra Kublina, 2019. "Persistence and change of regional new business formation in the national league table," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 891-917, July.
    15. Michael Wyrwich, 2014. "Ready, set, go! Why are some regions entrepreneurial jump starters?," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 53(2), pages 487-513, September.
    16. Fossen, Frank M. & Martin, Thorsten, 2018. "Entrepreneurial dynamics over space and time," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 204-214.
    17. Mauricio Oyarzo & Gianni Romani & Miguel Atienza & Marcelo Lufin, 2015. "Spatio-temporal persistence of municipal rates of business start-ups in Chile," Documentos de Trabajo en Economia y Ciencia Regional 61, Universidad Catolica del Norte, Chile, Department of Economics, revised Jul 2015.
    18. Michael Fritsch & Sandra Kublina, 2015. "Entrepreneurship,Growth, Regional Growth Regimes," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-002, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    19. Michael Fritsch & Michael Wyrwich & Martin Obschonka, 2018. "Historical Roots of Entrepreneurial Culture and Innovation Activity - An Analysis for German Regions," Jena Economic Research Papers 2018-007, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    20. Niels Bosma & Veronique Schutjens, 2011. "Understanding regional variation in entrepreneurial activity and entrepreneurial attitude in Europe," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 47(3), pages 711-742, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:plo:pone00:0129332. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: plosone (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ .

    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.