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Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth: The Proof Is in the Productivity

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Abstract

Popular and policy discussions have focused extensively on "entrepreneurship." While entrepreneurship is often viewed from the perspective of the individual's benefits--an increase in standard of living, flexibility in hours, and so forth--much of the policy interest derives from the presumption that entrepeneurs provide economy-wide benefits in the form of new products, lower prices, innovations, and increased productivity. How large are these effects? Using a rich panel of state-level data, we quantify the relationship between productivity growth--by state and by industry--and entrepreneurship. Specifically, we use state-of-the-art econometric techniques for panel data to determine whether variations in the birth rate and death rate for firms are related to increases in productivity. We find that shocks to productivity are quite persistent. Thus, to the extent that policies directly raise labor productivity, these effects will be long lasting. In addition, the data reveal that increases in the birth rate of firms lead, after some lag, to higher levels of productivity, a relationship reminiscent of Schumpeterian creative destruction. Given previous evidence that government policies raise the rate of entry of new entrepreneurs, our findings link these policies to enhanced productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Douglas Holtz-Eakin & Chihwa Kao, 2003. "Entrepreneurship and Economic Growth: The Proof Is in the Productivity," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 50, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  • Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:50
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alonso-Borrego, Cesar & Arellano, Manuel, 1999. "Symmetrically Normalized Instrumental-Variable Estimation Using Panel Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 36-49, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Slow Death of American Entrepreneurship
      by Ben Casselman in FiveThirtyEight Economics on 2014-05-15 16:39:30

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    Cited by:

    1. Zoltán J. Ács & Lawrence A. Plummer & Ryan Sutter, 2015. "Penetrating the knowledge filter in “rust belt” economies," Chapters, in: Global Entrepreneurship, Institutions and Incentives, chapter 17, pages 320-343, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Thomas Ejdemo & Daniel Örtqvist, 2021. "Exploring a leading and lagging regions dichotomy: does entrepreneurship and diversity explain it?," Journal of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 1-26, December.
    3. Mark Drabenstott, 2005. "A review of the federal role in regional economic development," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, number 2005arotfrire.
    4. Hugo Erken & Piet Donselaar & Roy Thurik, 2018. "Total factor productivity and the role of entrepreneurship," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 43(6), pages 1493-1521, December.
    5. Zoltán Ács & Attila Varga, 2005. "Entrepreneurship, Agglomeration and Technological Change," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 323-334, February.
    6. Jean Bonnet, 2016. "From Knowledge to Innovation Economy: Developing Education and Creating Entrepreneurial Ecosystems," Economics Working Paper Archive (University of Rennes 1 & University of Caen) 2016-02, Center for Research in Economics and Management (CREM), University of Rennes 1, University of Caen and CNRS.
    7. Joern H. Block & Christian O. Fisch & Mirjam van Praag, 2017. "The Schumpeterian entrepreneur: a review of the empirical evidence on the antecedents, behaviour and consequences of innovative entrepreneurship," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 61-95, January.
    8. David B. Audretsch & Werner Boente & Jagannadha Pawan Tamvada, 2007. "Religion and Entrepreneurship," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-075, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    9. Zoltan Acs & Lawrence A. Plummer & Ryan Sutter, 2007. "Penetrating the Knowledge Filter in the Rust Belt," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-058, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Jana Kolaøíková & Ondøej Dvouletý & Petr Kolaøík, 2018. "Economic performance of the NUTS III Regions in the Czech Republic in the context of entrepreneurship subsidies from the EU Structural Funds," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics and Business, vol. 36(1), pages 129-153.
    11. Charlie Karlsson, 2012. "Entrepreneurship, social capital, governance and regional economic development: an introduction," Chapters, in: Charlie Karlsson & Börje Johansson & Roger R. Stough (ed.), Entrepreneurship, Social Capital and Governance, chapter 1, pages 1-26, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    12. Salim MORCHED & Anis JARBOUI, 2018. "Does female entrepreneurship add in economic growth? Evidence from twenty-five countries," Journal of Academic Finance, RED research unit, university of Gabes, Tunisia, vol. 9(2), pages 20-35, December.
    13. Gil Avnimelech & Maryann Feldman, 2010. "Regional Corporate Spawning and the Role of Homegrown Companies," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 27(4), pages 475-489, July.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity

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