Small Business Economics

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 539–560 | Cite as

Creative industries, new business formation, and regional economic growth

  • Roberta PiergiovanniEmail author
  • Martin A. Carree
  • Enrico Santarelli


In this article we explore the impact of a series of factors, including creativity, intellectual property rights activities, new business formation, and the provision of amenities, on economic growth for 103 Italian provinces over the period spanning 2001 to 2006. Provincial growth rates are measured in terms of employment growth and value-added growth. The findings reveal that an increase in the number of firms active in the creative industries and net entry have a positive effect on regional employment growth. The share of legal immigrants is also found to positively impact employment growth. A high number of university faculties is found to lead to less employment growth, whereas trademarks, patents, cultural amenities, and industrial districts have no significant effect. Value-added growth is for a large part determined by employment growth, but no additional productivity-enhancing effects of the factors discussed are found.


Regional growth Creativity Entrepreneurship Italian provinces 

JEL Classifications

O18 O34 R11 



Enrico Santarelli acknowledges financial support from MIUR (PRIN 2006, ‘Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Competitiveness of Italian Firms in the High-Tech Industries’; protocol #2006132439) and from the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Public Policy Group. We thank seminar participants at University of Cassino, Friedrich Schiller University Jena and Polytechnic of Torino, Ferran Vendrell-Herrero and participants at the Workshop on ‘Entrepreneurship and Regional Competitiveness’ held at Deusto University San Sebastian, Alex Coad and participants at the DIME Workshop on ‘Markets and Firm Dynamics: From Micro Patterns to Aggregate Behaviors’ held at Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, and participants at the XXXVI Annual E.A.R.I.E. Conference (Ljubljana) for comments. We also thank two anonymous referees for helpful suggestions. The views expressed by Roberta Piergiovanni do not necessarily reflect those of Istat.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberta Piergiovanni
    • 1
    Email author
  • Martin A. Carree
    • 2
  • Enrico Santarelli
    • 3
  1. 1.ISTAT–Sede dell’Emilia-RomagnaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and Business AdministrationMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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