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The Finnish Paradox: The Curious Absence of High- Growth Entrepreneurship in Finland


  • Autio, Erkko


This paper looks at how well Finland performs in high growth entrepreneurship and uses data from the Global Entrepreneurship monitor to benchmark Finland against other European countries. It is found that Finlands prevalence rate of high growth entrepreneurial activity lags significantly behind most of its European and all of its Scandinavian peers. That this weak performance in high-growth entrepreneurship goes hand in hand with Finland being a world leader in per capita investment in R&D may be described as a paradox. The reasons underlying the underperformance of Finland remain however unclear. At this point, explanations should be sought in culture, industrial traditions and systemic experience in high growth entrepreneurship.

Suggested Citation

  • Autio, Erkko, 2009. "The Finnish Paradox: The Curious Absence of High- Growth Entrepreneurship in Finland," Discussion Papers 1197, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1197

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Cassar, Gavin, 2006. "Entrepreneur opportunity costs and intended venture growth," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 610-632, September.
    2. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson, 2010. "Gazelles as job creators: a survey and interpretation of the evidence," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 227-244, September.
    3. Silvia Ardagna & Annamaria Lusardi, 2010. "Explaining International Differences in Entrepreneurship: The Role of Individual Characteristics and Regulatory Constraints," NBER Chapters,in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 17-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Axel Dreher & Martin Gassebner, 2007. "Greasing the Wheels of Entrepreneurship? The Impact of Regulations and Corruption on Firm Entry," CESifo Working Paper Series 2013, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. C. Praag & Peter Versloot, 2007. "What is the value of entrepreneurship? A review of recent research," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 351-382, December.
    6. Paul Reynolds & Niels Bosma & Erkko Autio & Steve Hunt & Natalie De Bono & Isabel Servais & Paloma Lopez-Garcia & Nancy Chin, 2005. "Global Entrepreneurship Monitor: Data Collection Design and Implementation 1998–2003," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 24(3), pages 205-231, February.
    7. Gordon Murray & Ari Hyytinen & Markku Maula, 2009. "Growth Entrepreneurship and Finance," Chapters,in: The Evaluation of the Finnish National Innovation System, pages 147-202 The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    8. Gavin Cassar, 2007. "Money, money, money? A longitudinal investigation of entrepreneur career reasons, growth preferences and achieved growth," Entrepreneurship & Regional Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 89-107, January.
    9. Delmar, Frederic & Davidsson, Per & Gartner, William B., 2003. "Arriving at the high-growth firm," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 189-216, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kimmo Viljamaa & Henri Lahtinen, 2012. "Erawatch Country Reports 2011: Finland," JRC Working Papers JRC77942, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).

    More about this item


    firm growth; high growth firms; gazelles;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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