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Defining Entrepreneurial Activity: Definitions Supporting Frameworks for Data Collection

Listed author(s):
  • Nadim Ahmad


  • Richard G. Seymour

    (The University of Sydney)

This paper sets out definitions of the entrepreneur, entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial activity for the purpose of supporting the development of related indicators. The paper recognises the long history in this area and the contention and differences that have existed, and that continue to exist, between academics who have confronted this issue over the last two centuries. It deliberately adopts a more pragmatic approach based on two principles ? relevance and measurability - resulting in definitions that are developed from both a bottom-up and top-down approach. Importantly, the definitions emphasise the dynamic nature of entrepreneurial activity and focus attention on action rather than intentions or supply/demand conditions. The paper concludes with an overview of policy implications arising from the definitions. Ce document propose les définitions de l’entrepreneur, de l’entrepreneuriat et de l'activité entrepreneuriale afin d'étayer le développement d'indicateurs statistiques sur l'entrepreneuriat. Le document reconnaît les controverses et différences qui ont existé, et qui continuent à exister, entre universitaires qui se sont confrontés à cette question au cours des deux derniers siècles. Les auteurs adoptent délibérément une approche plus pragmatique basée sur deux principes - pertinence et mesurabilité - ayant pour résultat des définitions élaborées à partir d’une approche ascendante (à partir de données mesurables) et descendante (basée sur les objectifs à atteindre). Les définitions soulignent en priorité la nature dynamique de l'activité entrepreneuriale et se concentrent sur l’action plutôt que sur les intentions ou les conditions de l’offre et de la demande. Le papier conclut avec une vue d’ensemble des implications résultant de ces définitions pour les politiques économiques.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Statistics Working Papers with number 2008/1.

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Date of creation: 24 Jan 2008
Handle: RePEc:oec:stdaaa:2008/1-en
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