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Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) Working Paper Series

No 1049:
Superentrepreneurship and Global Imbalances: Closing Europe's Gap to Other Industrialized Regions

Magnus Henrekson () and Tino Sanandaji ()

Abstract: The overwhelming majority of self-employed individuals are not entrepreneurial in the Schumpeterian sense. To unmistakably identify Schumpeterian entrepreneurs, we focus on self-made billionaires (in USD) from the Forbes Magazine list who became wealthy by founding new firms. In this way, we identify 996 billionaire entrepreneurs in over fifty countries during the 1996–2010 period. Interestingly, the rate of billionaire entrepreneurs per capita correlates negatively with self-employment rates. Countries with higher incomes, higher trust, lower taxes, more venture capital investment and lower regulatory burdens have higher entrepreneurship rates but less self-employment. Europe has a higher self-employment rate than the United States and East Asia. At the same time, Europe has a lower entrepreneurship rate than competitor regions. Europe underperforms in entrepreneurship despite having advantages such as a skilled labour force, good infrastructure, large markets and strong performance in technological innovation.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Innovation; Institutions; Regulation; Self-employment; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: L50; M13; O31; P14; (follow links to similar papers)

32 pages, December 1, 2014, Revised August 3, 2015

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This paper is published as:
Henrekson, Magnus and Tino Sanandaji, (2015), 'Superentrepreneurship in Europe Compared to Other Industrialised Regions' in Bakardjieva Engelbrekt, Antonina, Moa Mårtensson, Lars Oxelheim and Thomas Persson (eds.) The EU’s Role in Fighting Global Imbalances, chapter 4, pages 58-88, Edward Elgar, ISBN 978-1-78471-672-1.



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