Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Papers in Innovation Studies,
Lund University, CIRCLE - Center for Innovation, Research and Competences in the Learning Economy

No 2013/1: Start-up rates, Entrepreneurship Culture and the Business Cycle. Swedish patterns from national and regional data

Martin Andersson ()
Additional contact information
Martin Andersson: CIRCLE Lund University, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Postal: CIRCLE, Lund University, PO Box 117, SE-22100 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: It is often claimed that there are locally embedded values and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, exerting a strong influence on the rate and level of entrepreneurial activity in regions. The concept of regional entrepreneurship culture aims to capture such phenomena, and refers in a general sense to the level of social acceptance and encouragement of entrepreneurs and their activities in a region. This paper discusses regional entrepreneurship culture as a source of persistent differences in regional rates of new firm formation, and presents a number of empirical regularities for Sweden to illustrate the empirical relevance of the main arguments. Using data on rates of new firm formation across Swedish regions over time, the paper further explores the association between start-up activity and the business cycle, as well as how the geographic distribution of start-up rates changes during a major economic crisis.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; start-ups; geography; culture; business cycles; social capital; persistence

JEL-codes: L26; O18; R11; R12

25 pages, January 10, 2013

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