The Locke Institute series
Edited by Ram Mudambi, Pietro Maria Navarra and Giuseppe Sobbrio
Chapter 8: Institutions, Entrepreneurship, and Growth: Biomedicine and Polymers in Sweden and Ohio
Bo Carlsson INTRODUCTION What are the linkages between institutions, entrepreneurship, and growth? The purpose of the present chapter is to examine the role of institutions in explaining the differences in performance with respect to entrepreneurship and growth in two industry clusters in two countries. In a series of papers, my colleagues and I have studied the biomedical and polymer clusters in Ohio and Sweden.1 The main reason for selecting biomedicine and polymers is that these clusters include the fastest-growing industries in both regions over the past two decades. They are also very different in terms of supporting institutions and other infrastructure. Given the focus in this chapter on institutions, entrepreneurship, and growth, it is desirable to compare regions that can be expected to differ in these dimensions while not being too dissimilar in other dimensions. The differences in economic growth between Europe and the United States over the last two decades makes it interesting to compare regions on both sides of the Atlantic. The diversity within Europe and the US and the difficulty of obtaining data makes it impractical to compare Europe and the United States as a whole. The main reasons for the choice of regions are that Sweden and Ohio are similar in size (population 8.8 and 11.2 million, respectively in 1996), income level ($27 794 GDP per capita in Sweden and $27 240 in Ohio in 1996 at official exchange rates), and industrial history (especially, heavy reliance on engineering and metalworking industries); and that both suffered economic...
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