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Quantifying entrepreneurship and its impact on local economic performance: A spatial assessment in rural Switzerland

  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Daniel Baumgartner, Tobias Schulz & Irmi Seidl
  • Journal Name: Entrepreneurship & Regional Development: An International Journal
  • Journal Number: 25.3-4
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
  • Published Location: United Kingdom
  • ISBN: 0898-5626
  • Country: Switzerland

Regional and rural development policies in Europe increasingly emphasize entrepreneurship to mobilize the endogenous economic potential of rural territories. This study develops a concept to quantify entrepreneurship as place-dependent local potential to examine its impact on the local economic performance of rural territories in Switzerland. The short-to-medium-term impact of entrepreneurship on the economic performance of 1706 rural municipalities in Switzerland is assessed by applying three spatial random effects models. Results suggest a generally positive relationship between entrepreneurship and local development: rural municipalities with higher entrepreneurial potential generally show higher business tax revenues per capita and a lower share of social welfare cases among the population, although the impact on local employment is less clear. The explanatory power of entrepreneurship in all three models, however, was only moderate. This finding suggests that political expectations of fostering entrepreneurship to boost endogenous rural development in the short-to-medium term should be damped.

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