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Political entrepreneurship and local development in Swedish municipalities


  • Hans Westlund


  • Johan Larsson
  • Amy Rader Olsson


The concept of entrepreneurship is increasingly being used in a number of contexts outside the business sphere. Based on the definition that entrepreneurship is recognizing (or creating) opportunities, evaluating them, and gather resources to exploit these opportunities, this paper aims at measuring political entrepreneurship in the municipalities of Sweden and investigating whether political entrepreneurship exerts a positive influence on municipalities' population and employment growth in general and in various types of municipalities. A survey to the municipality directors (83% response rate) gave empirical data for constructing an index of political entrepreneurship. When analyzed with control variables the index did not have any significant effect. However, when decomposed, the sub-index for benchmarking and learning activities showed a significant influence on population and employment growth in rural municipalities but not in urban ones. Our interpretation is that weaker market positions (in terms of e.g. accessibility) partly can be compensated for by certain forms of local political entrepreneurship, whereas political entrepreneurship plays a relatively smaller role where markets are stronger.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans Westlund & Johan Larsson & Amy Rader Olsson, 2013. "Political entrepreneurship and local development in Swedish municipalities," ERSA conference papers ersa13p151, European Regional Science Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:wiw:wiwrsa:ersa13p151

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Westlund, Hans & Bolton, Roger, 2003. "Local Social Capital and Entrepreneurship," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 77-113, September.
    2. Kent Eliasson & Hans Westlund, 2013. "Attributes influencing self-employment propensity in urban and rural Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 50(2), pages 479-514, April.
    3. Hans Westlund, 2011. "Multidimensional entrepreneurship: theoretical considerations and Swedish empirics," Regional Science Policy & Practice, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 199-218, August.
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