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Cultural Imprinting: Ancient Origins of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Germany

Author

Listed:
  • Michael Fritsch

    (Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)

  • Martin Obschonka

    (Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

  • Fabian Wahl

    (University of Hohenheim, Germany)

  • Michael Wyrwich

    (University of Groningen, The Netherlands, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany)

Abstract

A region’s present-day economic performance can be deeply anchored in historical factors. We provide the first systematic evidence of a deep imprinting effect in the context of Roman rule in the south-western part of Germany nearly 2,000 years ago. Our analysis reveals that regions in the former Roman part of Germany show a stronger entrepreneurship and innovation culture today, evident by higher levels of quantity and quality entrepreneurship and innovation. The data indicate that this lasting 'Roman effect' was constituted by the early establishment of interregional social and economic exchange and related infrastructure. Our findings thus help in unpacking the hidden cultural roots of present-day economic performance, with important implications for research and economic policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Fritsch & Martin Obschonka & Fabian Wahl & Michael Wyrwich, 2021. "Cultural Imprinting: Ancient Origins of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Germany," Jena Economic Research Papers 2021-012, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2021-012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; innovation; historical roots; Romans; Limes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N9 - Economic History - - Regional and Urban History
    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being

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