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The Institutions of Economic Freedom and Entrepreneurship: Evidence from Panel Data

This paper provides new evidence on the determinants of entrepreneurship across countries. The paper investigates the relationship between the institutional setting, in terms of economic freedom, and entrepreneurship, as measured by self-employment in a panel data setting covering 23 OECD countries and the time-period 1972-2002. The measure of economic freedom includes five aspects: size of government, legal structure and security of property rights, access to sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and the regulation of credit, labour and business. The empirical findings show that a smaller government sector, better legal structure and security of property rights and less regulation of credit, labour and business tend to increase entrepreneurship.

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Paper provided by The Ratio Institute in its series Ratio Working Papers with number 114.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 03 Jan 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Public Choice, 2008, pages 269-282.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0114
Contact details of provider: Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08-441 59 00
Fax: 08-441 59 29
Web page: http://www.ratio.se/Email:


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  1. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2000. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7771, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Christian Bjørnskov & Nicolai J. Foss, 2006. "Economic Freedom and entrepreneurial Activity Some Cross-Country Evidence," DRUID Working Papers 06-18, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  5. Lee, L W, 1991. "Entrepreneurship and Regulation: Dynamics and Political Economy," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 1(3), pages 219-35, July.
  6. David G. Blanchflower, 2000. "Self-Employment in OECD Countries," NBER Working Papers 7486, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521828130 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Doucouliagos, Chris & Ulubasoglu, Mehmet Ali, 2006. "Economic freedom and economic growth: Does specification make a difference?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 60-81, March.
  9. Magnus Henrekson, 2005. "Entrepreneurship: a weak link in the welfare state?," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 437-467, June.
  10. Wennekers, Sander & Thurik, Roy, 1999. " Linking Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 27-55, August.
  11. Berggren, Niclas, 1999. " Economic Freedom and Equality: Friends or Foes?," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 100(3-4), pages 203-23, September.
  12. Ciccone, Antonio & Papaioannou, Elias, 2007. "Red tape and delayed entry," Working Paper Series 0758, European Central Bank.
  13. John Carter, 2007. "An Empirical Note on Economic Freedom and Income Inequality," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 163-177, January.
  14. Kanniainen, Vesa & Vesala, Timo, 2005. "Entrepreneurship and labor market institutions," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 828-847, September.
  15. Mihir Desai & Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 2003. "Institutions, Capital Constraints and Entrepreneurial Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Europe," NBER Working Papers 10165, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Andreas Freytag & Roy Thurik, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and its determinants in a cross-country setting," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 17(2), pages 117-131, April.
  17. Davidsson, Per & Henrekson, Magnus, 2000. "Determinants of the Prevalence of Start-ups and High-Growth Firms," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 381, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 26 May 2002.
  18. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2002. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," NBER Working Papers 9305, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. North, Douglass C., 1993. "Economic Performance through Time," Nobel Prize in Economics documents 1993-2, Nobel Prize Committee.
  20. Bruce, Donald, 2000. "Effects of the United States tax system on transitions into self-employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(5), pages 545-574, September.
  21. 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.
  22. Laura Alfaro & Andrew Charlton, 2006. "International Financial Integration and Entrepreneurship," CEP Discussion Papers dp0755, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  23. Stefano Scarpetta & Philip Hemmings & Thierry Tressel & Jaejoon Woo, 2002. "The Role of Policy and Institutions for Productivity and Firm Dynamics: Evidence from Micro and Industry Data," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 329, OECD Publishing.
  24. Bruce, Donald, 2002. "Taxes and Entrepreneurial Endurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 55(N. 1), pages 5-24, March.
  25. Martin Carree, 2002. "Does Unemployment Affect the Number of Establishments? A Regional Analysis for US States," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 389-398.
  26. Robert Hébert & Albert Link, 2006. "The Entrepreneur as Innovator," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 31(5), pages 589-597, 09.
  27. Russell Sobel & J. Clark & Dwight Lee, 2007. "Freedom, barriers to entry, entrepreneurship, and economic progress," The Review of Austrian Economics, Springer, vol. 20(4), pages 221-236, December.
  28. Berggren, Niclas, 2003. "The Benefits of Economic Freedom: A Survey," Ratio Working Papers 4, The Ratio Institute.
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