Opening the black box of Entrepreneurship: the Italian case in a historical perspective
The main objective of this paper is to shed light on the Italian entrepreneurship between the beginning of the Second industrial revolution and the end of the XX century. It is based on a new dataset concerning the profiles of 386 entrepreneurs. The results are twofold: first, by proposing an empirical based-taxonomy of Italian entrepreneurs not exclusively based on intuitions and qualitative judgments, we provide valuable interpretative elements; second, we put forward some hypothesis about the relationship between entrepreneurship and Italian economic growth. In particular we perform a Cluster Analysis which singles out five different entrepreneurial typologies characterized by a widespread tendency to searching for new markets, yet a scarce attitude towards innovation. Further we suggest that the evolution of the institutional context slowed down the development of the entrepreneurial abilities and virtues necessary to grow.
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