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Michael Fritsch

This chapter reviews the empirical evidence concerning the regional emergence of innovative new businesses. It is argued that analyses using aggregate data that focus on the regional level and do not account for career patterns of innovative founders are of limited value in guiding policy that is aimed at fostering the emergence of innovative new businesses. Progress can be mainly expected from research that investigates the family backgrounds, education, and employment careers of potential founders. Moreover, it would be helpful to develop clearer empirical definitions of what constitutes an innovative new business, and the distinctions between different types of innovative businesses.

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Michael Fritsch

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Edited by Michael Fritsch

Recent research has found pronounced differences in the level of entrepreneurship and new business formation across various regions and nations. This timely Handbook reveals that the development of new ventures as well as their effects on overall economic growth are strongly shaped by their regional and national environment. The expert group of contributors gives an overview on the current state of the art in this field, and proposes avenues for further investigation. Topics include the regional determinants of new business formation, the effects of start-ups on growth, the role of globalization for regional entrepreneurship, the effect of national and regional framework conditions, as well as the role of universities as incubators of innovative new firms.
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Michael Fritsch and Michael Wyrwich

Emerging literature shows that spatial differences in entrepreneurship tend to persist over longer periods of time. A potential mechanism underlying this pronounced persistence is that high levels of start-up activity lead to the emergence of a regional culture and a supporting environment in favor of entrepreneurship that particularly involves social capital. This chapter summarizes the available empirical evidence on the regional persistence of entrepreneurship and elaborates in detail how different elements of such a culture, such as social capital, can exert an influence on the level of new business formation and self-employment. As a demonstration for the relevance of a regional entrepreneurship culture for new business formation, we highlight the case of Germany where we find pronounced persistence of start-up activity despite radical structural and institutional shocks over the course of the twentieth century. The German case suggests that there is a long-lasting local culture of entrepreneurship that can survive disruptive changes. We discuss the relationship between place-specific social capital and a regional culture of entrepreneurship and draw policy conclusions.

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Michael Fritsch and Alina Sorgner

It has widely been recognized that creativity plays an immense role not only in arts, sciences and technology, but also in entrepreneurship, innovation and, thus, economic growth. We analyze the extent and the determinants of self-employment in creative professions at the level of individuals. The analysis is based on the representative micro data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP). The findings suggest that people in creative professions are more likely to be self-employed. Moreover, a high regional share of people in the creative class increases an individual's likelihood of being an entrepreneur. Investigating the determinants of entrepreneurship within the creative class as compared with non-creative professions reveals several differences.