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Is European Entrepreneurship in Crisis?

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  • Naudé, Wim

    () (Maastricht University)

Abstract

The European Commission has adopted an Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan as its answer to challenges brought by the gravest economic crisis in the last 50 years. Governments of European countries all habour high expectations that entrepreneurship will contribute towards ending the continent's economic malaise. In this article I argue that these expectations may be disappointed because (i) entrepreneurship promotion is a last-resort policy, (ii) entrepreneurs are being overestimated, and (iii) entrepreneurs are too often allowed to capture policy. These reasons are indicative that that in addition to its euro and refugee crises, Europe is suffering from an entrepreneurship crisis. Entrepreneurs are increasingly older and are faring less well in terms of earnings compared to wage earners. Small businesses are not creating sufficient jobs, they are not raising labour productivity, and immigrant-entrepreneurs are not productively assimilated. Big businesses are largely a legacy of the past, and resorting more and more to lobbying. When they innovate it is often to replace labour. Hence, given that Europe faces rising unemployment, growing numbers of unassimilated migrants, and more pensioners - and all in the face of stagnating productivity growth - the conclusion is that entrepreneurs have failed to reduce the dependency burden on those who do work. This puts immense strain on European public finances that are already fragile after the financial crisis. Demographic changes and institutional shortcomings are thus at the core of the entrepreneurship crisis in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • Naudé, Wim, 2016. "Is European Entrepreneurship in Crisis?," IZA Discussion Papers 9817, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9817
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2011. "Teaching Entrepreneurship: Impact of Business Training on Microfinance Clients and Institutions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 510-527, May.
    5. Oosterbeek, Hessel & van Praag, Mirjam & Ijsselstein, Auke, 2010. "The impact of entrepreneurship education on entrepreneurship skills and motivation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 442-454, April.
    6. Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov & Halvarsson, Daniel & Mihaescu, Oana, 2015. "High-growth firms: Not so vital after all?," Ratio Working Papers 263, The Ratio Institute.
    7. Ryan Decker & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2014. "The Role of Entrepreneurship in US Job Creation and Economic Dynamism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 3-24, Summer.
    8. David de Meza & David C. Webb, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-292.
    9. Chad Syverson, 2017. "Challenges to Mismeasurement Explanations for the US Productivity Slowdown," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 165-186, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ferrando-Latorre, Sandra & Velilla, Jorge, 2018. "La transmisión intergeneracional de la actividad emprendedora en las familias españolas
      [Intergeneration transmissions of the entrepreneurial activity in Spanish households]
      ," MPRA Paper 83573, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:eee:joecag:v:12:y:2018:i:c:p:88-95 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Naudé, Wim & Nagler, Paula, 2017. "Technological Innovation and Inclusive Growth in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 11194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Velilla, Jorge, 2018. "The entrepreneurial activity using GEM data: evidence for Spain (national and regional) and for Europe," MPRA Paper 85568, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Molina, Jose Alberto & Velilla, Jorge, 2016. "La innovación como determinante pare el emprendimiento
      [Innovation as determinant of entrepreneurship]
      ," MPRA Paper 71471, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Wim Naudé & Paula Nagler, 2018. "Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015," SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    entrepreneurship; Europe; development;

    JEL classification:

    • L53 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Enterprise Policy
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe

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