Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 212: Regional Influences on the Prevalence of Family Versus Non-Family Start-Ups

Miriam Bird () and Karl Wennberg ()
Additional contact information
Miriam Bird: Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: Stocholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 11383 Stockholm, Sweden
Karl Wennberg: Ratio and Stockholm School of Economics, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden, Stocholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 11383 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: We integrate insights from family business and organizational ecology into the entrepreneurship field by constructing a theoretical framework that explains how the regional context impacts family and non-family start-ups in differing ways. Regional count data models based on a rich longitudinal dataset reveal that while economic factors such as population size and growth in regions are primarily associated with the number of non-family start-ups, factors related to regional embeddedness, such as pre-existing small family businesses as well as favorable community attitudes toward small businesses, are more strongly associated with the number of family start-ups. Our research provides support for the notion that ‘the regional context’ is an important yet under-theorized area for research on venture creation and family business.

Keywords: Family Business; Start-up; Population Ecology; Regional Science

JEL-codes: L21; M13; R12

42 pages, August 19, 2013

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