Understanding Entrepreneurship: Developing Indicators for International Comparisons and Assessments

  • Tim Davis
Part of the International Studies In Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 16)


Everyone thinks entrepreneurship is important, including the OECD. There is a fairly extensive body of theoretical literature on entrepreneurship, its determinants and impacts but relatively little empirical work has been done by government policy analysts to analyse and compare entrepreneurship measures. In part this is due to the fact that limited data is available, especially international data.

Researchers argue about the link between entrepreneurship and growth, but everyone wants entrepreneurship even if the link to growth is not clear. There are myriad definitions that describe the notion of entrepreneurship in terms of high-level principles, but those definitions are not easily reflected through statistical measures. Some relatively straight-forward measures exist, but they do not necessarily reflect the entrepreneurship objectives that policy-makers want to pursue.

While virtually all countries are interested in entrepreneurship, the policy objectives that different countries pursue through entrepreneurship differ considerably. Some promote entrepreneurship for employment creation; others see it as a tool for improving productivity and international competitiveness. Nevertheless, most countries have shown a strong desire to understand entrepreneurship and to compare themselves to others so they can determine where it makes sense to copy successful policies, and where it does not.

The OECD has identified numerous government policy interests related to entrepreneurship and is proceeding to produce a periodic “Scoreboard” of internationally-comparable entrepreneurship indicators to assist evidence-based policy making. Data for the OECD Entrepreneurship Scoreboard will be drawn from both existing and new sources. A Manual for Measurement will be produced, to include definitions, methodologies and a framework of indicators.


Venture Capital OECD Country Entrepreneurial Activity International Entrepreneurship Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tim Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.The OECD Entrepreneurship Indicators Project Tim Davis, Statistics Directorate, OECDParisFrance

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