Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 290: Location Choices of Graduate Entrepreneurs

Johan P Larsson (), Karl Wennberg (), Johan Wiklund () and Mike Wright ()
Additional contact information
Johan P Larsson: Jönköping International Business School, Postal: Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping University, Sweden, and, Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Sweden, and , Circle, Lund University
Karl Wennberg: The Ratio Institute, Postal: The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden
Johan Wiklund: Whitman School of Management, Postal: Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University, 721 University Avenue, Syracuse, NY 13244, United States
Mike Wright: Imperial College London South Kensington Campus, Postal: Imperial College London South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ and University of Ghent, Ghent, Belgium

Abstract: We review complementary theoretical perspectives on location choices of university graduate entrepreneurs derived from the individual-opportunity nexus and local embeddedness perspectives on entrepreneurship. Analysis of the full population of 215,388 graduates from Swedish institutions of higher education between 2002 and 2006 provides support for both location choice perspectives. Overall, 63 % of graduate entrepreneurs start businesses locally in their region of graduation while 37 % start businesses elsewhere. The likelihood of starting locally is substantially higher in metropolitan regions, if the graduate was born locally or has university peer entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial family members in the region of graduation. Implications for theory and public policy are discussed.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Location choice; Universities

JEL-codes: J61; M13; O18

45 pages, August 7, 2017

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