Handbooks of Research Methods and Applications series
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Martin Andersson and Therese Norman
Chapter 27: Analysing the geography of high-impact entrepreneurship
Although there are earlier accounts of regional differences in entrepreneurship (see, e.g., Gudgin, 1978), the topic was arguably launched in the early 1990s (see, e.g., Storey and Jones, 1987; Moyes and Westhead, 1990; Fritsch, 1992; Reynolds, 1991; Reynolds et al., 1994). In particular, a 1994 special issue of Regional Studies can be seen as marking the advent of this research theme. This increased interest can partially be explained by the increased availability of regional data (both on the country and on the local levels), enabling systematic comparison between regions. The formation of the research field was, however, undoubtedly also related to the then recent reappraisal of entrepreneurship as one of the key mechanisms in explaining economic development (Reynolds et al., 1994). The recognition of the beneficial economic effects of entrepreneurship raised the question as to which regions displayed relatively high levels of entrepreneurship and which lagged behind. Given the field’s legitimization through the positive economic effects of entrepreneurship, its development and the methods used should not be viewed in isolation from developments in the literature regarding entrepreneurship and economic growth (see Chapter 15, this volume).
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