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What does"entrepreneurship"data really show ? a comparison of the global entrepreneurship monitor and World Bank group datasets

  • Acs, Zoltan J.
  • Desai, Sameeksha
  • Klapper, Leora F

This paper compares two datasets designed to measure entrepreneurship. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor dataset captures early-stage entrepreneurial activity; the World Bank Group Entrepreneurship Survey dataset captures formal business registration. There are a number of important differences when the data are compared. First, GEM data tend to report significantly greater levels of early-stage entrepreneurship in developing economies than do the World Bank data. The World Bank data tend to be greater than GEM data for developed countries. Second, the magnitude of the difference between the datasets across countries is related to the local institutional and environmental conditions for entrepreneurs, after controlling for levels of economic development. A possible explanation for this is that the World Bank data measure rates of entry in the formal economy, whereas GEM data are reflective of entrepreneurial intent and capture informality of entrepreneurship. This is particularly true for developing countries. Therefore, this discrepancy can be interpreted as the spread between individuals who could potentially operate businesses in the formal sector - and those that actually do so: In other words, GEM data may represent the potential supply of entrepreneurs, whereas the World Bank data may represent the actual rate of entrepreneurship. The findings suggest that entrepreneurs in developed countries have greater ease and incentives to incorporate, both for the benefits of greater access to formal financing and labor contracts, as well as for tax and other purposes not directly related to business activities.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4667.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4667
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  1. Leora Klapper & Juan Manuel Quesada Delgado, 2007. "Entrepreneurship : New Data on Business Creation and How to Promote It," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11163, The World Bank.
  2. André Stel & David Storey & A. Thurik, 2007. "The Effect of Business Regulations on Nascent and Young Business Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 171-186, March.
  3. Zoltan Acs & Laszlo Szerb, 2007. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Public Policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 109-122, March.
  4. repec:oup:qjecon:v:117:y:2002:i:1:p:1-37 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Leora Klapper & Raphael Amit & Mauro F. Guillén, 2010. "Entrepreneurship and Firm Formation across Countries," NBER Chapters, in: International Differences in Entrepreneurship, pages 129-158 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Baumol, William J, 1990. "Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages 893-921, October.
  7. Phillip Arestis & Michelle Baddeley & John S.L. McCombie (ed.), 2007. "Economic Growth," Books, Edward Elgar, number 3958.
  8. repec:oup:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:2:p:503-30 is not listed on IDEAS
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