40 Regional context of entrepreneurship Dieter Bögenhold and Uwe Fachinger 1 INTRODUCTION Many authors argue that looking at macro figures at a national level is often too empty and too vague because those figures hide diverse regional divergences. Instead, regional figures serve as more reliable indicators of socio-economic performance. These ideas are summarized by Michael Porter’s formulation of ‘microeconomics of prosperity’ (Porter, 2000) which matches with thought on the core-periphery model as delivered by Krugman (1991) suggesting that economic progress is not universal and linear. Those general comments concerning the adequate method of analysis are especially relevant with respect to the analysis of entrepreneurship as economic policy on national and even on international European Union (EU) level are aiming at reducing regional differences in living standards by fostering entrepreneurship (Henrekson and Roine, 2005). As a result, academic interest in entrepreneurship is certainly on the rise but unfortunately it is not always clear what the term covers concretely and where borderlines of entrepreneurship are compared to terms as innovation or self-employment (Bögenhold, 2004a; Stam, 2008). Not everything labelled entrepreneurship can be translated with the category of self-employment and, vice versa, not all self-employed people can be regarded as proper entrepreneurs. Too heterogeneous are standards of living, labour, biographies, expectations and aspirations of people (Brown et al., 2008; Knight and McKay, 2000; Ronen, 1989) and not all self-employed people match with the idea of an entrepreneur as permanent opportunity seeker and finder (Kirzner, 1973: Ch. 2). Many of them are...
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