IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Regional differences in structural characteristics of start-ups


  • Franz Tödtling
  • Herta Wanzenböck


In recent years new firm formation has become a major area of both research and policy. Yet, while regional differences in business start-up intensity, and their causes, have been the subject of various studies, few attempts have been made to investigate spatial variation in the structural features of start-ups. Theoretical considerations and the existing literature both suggest that agglomeration advantages and sectoral structure of regions figure prominently among the factors important in influencing start-up activity and characteristics. In the empirical analysis of start-ups in Austria we accordingly apply a regional typology based on these two factors. The data analysed were drawn from two similarly designed surveys relating to the years 1990 and 1997. It is shown that Austria displays marked regional differences in start-up activity, in terms of both intensity and characteristics. In line with the urban incubator hypothesis, tertiary centres - above all the Vienna region - displayed significantly above-average start-up rates, as well as more favourable structural characteristics of the new firms. Start-up activity in old industrial and in rural areas was substantially lower than average, structural features also being less positive there. Furthermore, the 1990 cohort displayed regional differences in business start-ups' survival period, although the Cox model indicated no significant direct influence of area type in this respect. In economic policy terms it can be concluded that, as well as a general improvement in the environment for start-ups, greater regional differentiation of financial, informational and consultancy support is desirable, since not only the conditions for new firm formation but also the intensity and characteristics of start-ups themselves vary considerably between regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Tödtling & Herta Wanzenböck, 2003. "Regional differences in structural characteristics of start-ups," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 351-370, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:entreg:v:15:y:2003:i:4:p:351-370
    DOI: 10.1080/0898562032000058923

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Almus, Matthias & Egeln, Jürgen & Engel, Dirk, 1999. "Determinanten regionaler Unterschiede in der Gründungshäufigkeit wissensintensiver Dienstleister," ZEW Discussion Papers 99-22, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    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. Capelleras , Joan-Lluís & Contín-Pilart , Ignacio & Martin-Sanchez, Victor & Larraza-Kintana , Martín, 2013. "The influence of individual perceptions and the urban/rural environment on nascent entrepreneurship," INVESTIGACIONES REGIONALES - Journal of REGIONAL RESEARCH, Asociación Española de Ciencia Regional, issue 26, pages 97-113.
    2. Lee, In Hyeock & Hong, Eunsuk & Sun, Laixiang, 2013. "Regional knowledge production and entrepreneurial firm creation: Spatial Dynamic Analyses," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 2106-2115.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    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:taf:entreg:v:15:y:2003:i:4:p:351-370. 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: (Chris Longhurst). 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.

    If CitEc recognized a 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.

    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.