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Institutions and Entrepreneurship: The Role of The Rule of Law

  • André van Stel
  • David Storey
  • Chantal Hartog

This paper examines variations in entrepreneurship across twenty developed countries, using three measures of entrepreneurship which we broadly describe as prestart, early-stage and established enterprises. It then links these measures to the economic institutional framework, holding constant a range of other factors. Two groups of conclusions emerge. The first is that the factors that influence pre-start, early-stage and established enterprises differ often quite sharply. Second, our results broadly confirm earlier work suggesting that social security entitlements, taxes, and employment protection legislation are negatively associated with (different forms of) entrepreneurial activity. However, our novel finding is that countries with a "better" rule of law have lower entrepreneurship. We explain this apparently counter-intuitive finding by arguing that in developed economies the benefits of the rule of law accrue primarily to large enterprises.

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Paper provided by EIM Business and Policy Research in its series Scales Research Reports with number H201003.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 07 Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eim:papers:h201003
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  1. Frederic Delmar & Per Davidsson, 2000. "Where do they come from? Prevalence and characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(1), pages 1-23, January.
  2. van Stel, A.J. & Storey, D. & Thurik, A.R., 2006. "The Effect of Business Regulations on Nascent and Young Business Entrepreneurship," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-052-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  3. André van Stel, 2004. "COMPENDIA: Harmonizing business ownership data across countries and over time," Scales Research Reports N200413, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  4. Isabel Grilo & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Determinants of entrepreneurial engagement levels in Europe and the US," Papers on Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy 2007-02, Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group.
  5. André van Stel & Roy Thurik & David Audretsch & Martin Carree, 2005. "Does Self-Employment Reduce Unemployment?," Scales Research Reports N200504, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  6. Roy Thurik & Andreas Freytag, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting," Scales Research Reports H200616, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  7. Allan Riding & Judith Madill & George Haines, 2007. "Incrementality of SME Loan Guarantees," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 47-61, June.
  8. Peter van der Zwan & Roy Thurik & Isabel Grilo, 2006. "The Entrepreneurial Ladder and its Determinants," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-103/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 14 Nov 2007.
  9. Sander Wennekers & Roy Thurik & André Stel & Niels Noorderhaven, 2007. "Uncertainty avoidance and the rate of business ownership across 21 OECD countries, 1976–2004," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 133-160, April.
  10. George Saridakis & Sukanya Sen-Gupta & Paul Edwards & David J. Storey, 2008. "The Impact of Enterprise Size on Employment Tribunal Incidence and Outcomes: Evidence from Britain," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 46(3), pages 469-499, 09.
  11. Parker,Simon C., 2006. "The Economics of Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521030632, June.
  12. Aidis, Ruta & Estrin, Saul & Mickiewicz, Tomasz, 2009. "Entrepreneurial Entry: Which Institutions Matter?," IZA Discussion Papers 4123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Fukugawa, Nobuya, 2006. "Science parks in Japan and their value-added contributions to new technology-based firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 381-400, March.
  14. Nyström, Kristina, 2008. "The Institutions of Economic Freedom and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Panel Data," Ratio Working Papers 114, The Ratio Institute.
  15. Joan-Lluis Capelleras & Kevin F Mole & Francis J Greene & David J Storey, 2008. "Do more heavily regulated economies have poorer performing new ventures? Evidence from Britain and Spain," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 39(4), pages 688-704, June.
  16. Herb J. Schuetze, . "Taxes, Economic Conditions And Recent Trends in Male Self-Employment: A Canada-U.S. Comparison," Canadian International Labour Network Working Papers 11, McMaster University.
  17. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
  18. Cressy, Robert, 1996. "Are Business Startups Debt-Rationed?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(438), pages 1253-70, September.
  19. Riding, Allan L. & HainesJR., George, 2001. "Loan guarantees: Costs of default and benefits to small firms," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 595-612, November.
  20. Martin T. Robson & Colin Wren, 1999. "Marginal and Average Tax Rates and the Incentive for Self-Employment," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 65(4), pages 757-773, April.
  21. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  22. Michaelas, Nicos & Chittenden, Francis & Poutziouris, Panikkos, 1999. "Financial Policy and Capital Structure Choice in U.K. SMEs: Empirical Evidence from Company Panel Data," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 113-30, March.
  23. Sander Wennekers, 2006. "Entrepreneurship at Country Level : Economic and Non-Economic Determinants," Scales Research Reports R200602, EIM Business and Policy Research.
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