Determinants of Entrepreneurship in French Regions: The Role of Spatial Heterogeneity
This paper deals with the determinants of enterprise creation in the 22 French regions from 1994 to 2003. We then estimate a dynamic panel data model which allows spatial heterogeneity to be modelled and which is compared with a specification without spatial heterogeneity. The estimation results show that an appropriate consideration of spatial heterogeneity can lead to new insights. The results show: 1) that the Holcombe effect and the income effect have a statistically significant and positive impact for all regions; 2) that the age of the population and the size of the firms have the same negative effects for all regions with the exception of Ile-de-France; 3) that at the threshold of 10%, the refugee effect only concerns 10 regions out of 22; 4) that the effect of public R&D remains insignificant for 17 of the 22 regions, but becomes statistically significant in five regions and has a positive effect in three regions only, these being those which exhibit the highest per capita public R&D expenditure levels. Globally, Anselin's (1990) hypothesis, according to which the presence of spatial heterogeneity casts doubt upon the generalizability of theories in regional science, is thus in part confirmed.
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