Knowledge Based Entrepreneurship and Regional Economic Performance

  • David B. Audretsch
  • Werner Bönte
  • Max Keilbach
Part of the International Studies in Entrepreneurship book series (ISEN, volume 19)

4.1 Introduction

The role and perception of entrepreneurship in society has changed strongly over the last half century. During the post-World War II era, the importance of entrepreneurship and small businesses seemed to be fading away. However, this trend has reversed in the recent years. While in the US, the relative importance of SMEs, measured through average GDP per firm, decreased between 1947 and 1980, it has re-increased since then (Brock and Evans, 1989; Loveman and Sengenberger, 1991; Acs and Audretsch, 1993). Similar evidence is found when considering only the manufacturing industry (Acs and Audretsch, 1990). This trend reversal was not limited to North America. Audretsch et al. (2002) report that business ownership rate in the Netherlands decreased systematically until the beginning of the 1980s only to rise again since then. The same trend is found when measuring the importance of Dutch SMEs though employment shares (EIM, 2002). Similar evidence has been found for Western...


Total Factor Productivity Entrepreneurial Activity Manufacturing Sector Knowledge Spillover Technical Knowledge 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David B. Audretsch
    • 1
  • Werner Bönte
    • 1
  • Max Keilbach
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany

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