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The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development: is it U-shaped?

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Listed:
  • André van Stel
  • Roy Thurik
  • Sander Wennekers
  • Martin Carree

Abstract

Following a centuries-long decline in the rate of self-employment, a discontinuity in this downward trend is observed for many advanced economies starting in the 1970s and 1980s. In some countries the rate of self-employment appears to increase. At the same time, cross-sectional analysis shows a U-shaped relationship between start-up rates of enterprise and levels of economic development. We provide an overview of the empirical evidence concerning the relationship between independent entrepreneurship, also known as self-employment or business ownership, and economic development. We argue that the reemergence of independent entrepreneurship is based on at least two ‘revolutions’. If we distinguish between solo selfemployed at the lower end of the entrepreneurship spectrum, and ambitious and/or innovative entrepreneurs at the upper end, many advanced economies show a revival at both extremes. Policymakers in advanced economies should be aware of both revolutions and tailor their policies accordingly.

Suggested Citation

  • André van Stel & Roy Thurik & Sander Wennekers & Martin Carree, 2010. "The relationship between entrepreneurship and economic development: is it U-shaped?," Scales Research Reports H200824, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h200824
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O14 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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