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Entrepreneurship, Local Policies and Regional Development

RESearch Track

Track Chair: Günter Beck & Sebastian Kessing, University of Siegen

Description of the track

Entrepreneuership is generally considered to be a major driving source of economic developments such as economic growth, job creation, and innovation. The nexus between entrepreneurial activity and economic development is a multi-faceted one involving not only many variables and potential channels but also being characterized by mutually reinforcing processes. Graphical illustrations of the interlinkages between entrepreneurial performance, numerous environmental factors and economic outcomes as used, e.g., by the OECD (presented in their 2016 Entrepreneurship at a Glance report which is available at: or in the conceptual model of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (which is available at: not only reveal the enormous numbers of factors potentially playing a role in this context but also hint to the problems of drawing causal implications from any documented statistical relationship. The well-known problem that empirical research aiming at quantifying the economic importance of the various factors influencing entrepreneurial performance and/or the impact of entrepreneurial activities on economic development faces is one of endogeneity arising either from unobserved variables influencing both the dependent or independent variable or one of reversed causality between these variables. Addressing such potential endogeneity problems and providing credible identification of causal effects in empirical research has been a very active area of research in recent years.

The planned session aims at presenting recent contributions to this literature which use innovative approaches to tackle the endogeneity problem present in the relationship between entrepreneurship, environmental factors such as social, cultural, political and economic variables and economic performance. The focus of the work should preferably be on regional

(subnational) data. All types of applications being employed to properly handle potential endogeneity problems such as instrumental-variable approaches, regression discontinuity designs, difference-in-difference approaches with properly designed control groups or control function approaches are welcome. Moreover, approaches employing innovative (and comprehensive) micro data sets would be of great interest. Finally, studies aimed at providing for credible identification of local policy effects would fit to the session’s content.

Key topics and research questions of the track
  • What is the causal impact of environmental factors on entrepreneurial performance?
  • What is the causal impact of entrepreneurial activities on the economic development of a region?
  • What is the causal impact of a selected policy measure on entrepreneurial performance?
We encourage contributions that address one or more of the listed topics above, using qualitative analyses and case studies, empirical analyses and developing theoretical frameworks. The workshop is also open to research addressing other adjacent and related topics.

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