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What determines entrepreneurial clusters?

  • Luigi Guiso
  • Fabiano Schivardi

We contrast two potential explanations of the substantial di¤erences in entrepreneurial activity observed across geographical areas: entry costs and external effects. We extend the Lucas model of entrepreneurship to allow for heterogeneous entry costs and for externalities that shift the distribution of entrepreneurial talents. We show that these assumptions have opposite predictions on the relation between entrepreneurial activity and .rm level TFP: with di¤erent entry costs, in areas with more entrepreneurs firms' average productivity should be lower and vice versa. We test these implications on a sample of Italian firms and unambiguously reject the entry costs explanation in favor of the externalities one. We also investigate the sources of external e¤ects, finding robust evidence that learning externalities are an important determinant of cross-sectional differences in entrepreneurial activity.

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Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2007/48.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2007/48
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  1. Duranton, Gilles & Puga, Diego, 2004. "Micro-foundations of urban agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 48, pages 2063-2117 Elsevier.
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  11. David J. McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 3-42.
  12. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Pakes, Ariel & Olley, Steven, 1995. "A limit theorem for a smooth class of semiparametric estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 295-332, January.
  14. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Human capital externalities in cities," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 51, pages 2243-2291 Elsevier.
  15. Antonio Ciccone & Robert E. Hall, 1993. "Productivity and the Density of Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 4313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Does Local Financial Development Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 929-969, August.
  17. Jan Eeckhout & Boyan Jovanovic, 2002. "Knowledge Spillovers and Inequality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1290-1307, December.
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  22. Glaeser, Edward L & Mare, David C, 2001. "Cities and Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(2), pages 316-42, April.
  23. Jovanovic, Boyan & Rob, Rafael, 1989. "The Growth and Diffusion of Knowledge," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 569-82, October.
  24. Ricardo Lagos, 2006. "A model of TFP," Staff Report 345, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  25. Klapper, Leora & Laeven, Luc & Rajan, Raghuram, 2006. "Entry regulation as a barrier to entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(3), pages 591-629, December.
  26. Rosenthal, Stuart S. & Strange, William C., 2004. "Evidence on the nature and sources of agglomeration economies," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 49, pages 2119-2171 Elsevier.
  27. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  28. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
  29. Luigi Guiso & Fabiano Schivardi, 2007. "Spillovers in Industrial Districts," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(516), pages 68-93, 01.
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