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Entrepreneurship and the City

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  • Edward L. Glaeser

Abstract

Why do levels of entrepreneurship differ across America's cities? This paper presents basic facts on two measures of entrepreneurship: the self-employment rate and the number of small firms. Both of these measures are correlated with urban success, suggesting that more entrepreneurial cities are more successful. There is considerable variation in the self-employment rate across metropolitan areas, but about one-half of this heterogeneity can be explained by demographic and industrial variation. Self-employment is particularly associated with abundant, older citizens and with the presence of input suppliers. Conversely, small firm size and employment growth due to unaffiliated new establishments is associated most strongly with the presence of input suppliers and an appropriate labor force. I also find support for the Chinitz (1961) hypothesis that entrepreneurship is linked to a large number of small firms in supplying industries. Finally, there is a strong connection between area-level education and entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward L. Glaeser, 2007. "Entrepreneurship and the City," NBER Working Papers 13551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13551
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser, 2002. "Geographic Concentration As A Dynamic Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 193-204, May.
    2. 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 808-827, August.
    3. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
    4. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1998. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 26-60, January.
    5. Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-1152, December.
      • Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
      • Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    6. Frederic Scherer, 1984. "Using Linked Patent and R&D Data to Measure Interindustry Technology Flows," NBER Chapters,in: R&D, Patents, and Productivity, pages 417-464 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Glenn Ellison & Edward L. Glaeser & William R. Kerr, 2010. "What Causes Industry Agglomeration? Evidence from Coagglomeration Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1195-1213, June.
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    JEL classification:

    • R0 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General

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