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Entrepreneurship, Evolution and Geography

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  • Erik Stam

Abstract

Entrepreneurship is a fundamental driver of economic evolution. It is also a distinctly spatially uneven process, and thus an important explanation of the uneven economic development of regions and nations. Not surprisingly, entrepreneurship is a key element of evolutionary economics (Schumpeter 1934; Witt 1998; Grebel et al. 2003; Metcalfe 2004; Grebel 2007) and has been recognized as an important element in explaining (regional) economic development (Acs and Armington 2004; Audretsch et al. 2006; Fritsch 2008). This means that the explanation of regional variations in entrepreneurship has also become an important issue. Even more so because there are pronounced differences within and between nations in rates of entrepreneurship and in their determinants (Bosma and Schutjens 2008), and these differences tend to be persistent over time, reflecting path dependence in industry structure (Brenner and Fornahl 2008), institutions (Casper 2007) and culture (Saxenian 1994) that vary widely across regions and countries, but are relatively inert over time. Introducing entrepreneurship into evolutionary economic geography means that the traditional focus on firms is complemented with a focus on individuals. This paper is an inquiry into the role of entrepreneurship in evolutionary economic geography. The focus is on how and why entrepreneurship is a distinctly spatially uneven process. We will start with a discussion on the role of entrepreneurship in the theory of economic evolution. Next, we will review the empirical literature on the geography of entrepreneurship. The paper concludes with a discussion of a future agenda for the study of entrepreneurship within evolutionary economic geography.

Suggested Citation

  • Erik Stam, 2009. "Entrepreneurship, Evolution and Geography," Papers on Economics and Evolution 2009-07, Philipps University Marburg, Department of Geography.
  • Handle: RePEc:esi:evopap:2009-07
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    Cited by:

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    2. Pascal Beckers & Robert Kloosterman, 2011. "Neighbourhood spatial order, social embeddedness and business prospects of native and ethnic entrepreneurs in the Netherlands," ERSA conference papers ersa10p1394, European Regional Science Association.
    3. repec:kap:sbusec:v:49:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-017-9871-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Heike Delfmann & Sierdjan Koster & Philip McCann & Jouke Van Dijk, 2014. "Population Change and New Firm Formation in Urban and Rural Regions," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(6), pages 1034-1050, June.
    5. Robert Huggins & Piers Thompson, 2015. "Entrepreneurship, innovation and regional growth: a network theory," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 103-128, June.
    6. repec:oup:jecgeo:v:18:y:2018:i:1:p:139-161. is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Heike Delfmann & Sierdjan Koster, 2016. "The effect of new business creation on employment growth in regions facing population decline," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 56(1), pages 33-54, January.
    8. Nora Hesse & Rolf Sternberg, 2017. "Alternative growth patterns of university spin-offs: why so many remain small?," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 953-984, September.
    9. Gurrieri, Antonia Rosa, 2013. "Networking entrepreneurs," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 193-204.
    10. Michael Wyrwich, 2011. "New business formation and regional growth across regions with distinct initial industry structures," ERSA conference papers ersa10p656, European Regional Science Association.
    11. Andrew Ross, 2011. "Regional Determinants of Entrepreneurship in a Small Economy: Panel Data Evidence from Scotland," ERSA conference papers ersa11p848, European Regional Science Association.

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    Keywords

    Length 23 pages;

    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes

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