Small Business Economics

, Volume 39, Issue 3, pp 561–574 | Cite as

Innovation, entrepreneurial activity and competitiveness at a sub-national level

  • José L. González-Pernía
  • Iñaki Peña-Legazkue
  • Ferran Vendrell-HerreroEmail author


The capability to generate new knowledge and to create new firms differs across regions. Our study is an attempt to test the extent to which differences in such capabilities are associated with regional competitiveness. Using data from Spanish NUTS2 regions for the period 2000–2004, our results show that a higher capacity of a region to simultaneously generate new knowledge and start-up firms is positively linked to its level of competitiveness. This finding supports the belief that innovation per se is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for regional economic development.


Entrepreneurial activity Innovation Productivity Regional competitiveness 

JEL Classifications

R11 O33 D24 L26 



The authors are sincerely grateful to the comments received from two anonymous referees, Juan José Gibaja, Erik Lehman, Pedro Ortín and Scott Shane on previous versions of the paper. All errors, interpretations and omissions are the authors’ responsibility. Ferran Vendrell-Herrero acknowledges the financial support received from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (Project SEJ 2007-67895-C04-04). José L. González-Pernía and Iñaki Peña-Legazkue acknowledge the financial support received from the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Project ECO2009-08735).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • José L. González-Pernía
    • 1
  • Iñaki Peña-Legazkue
    • 1
  • Ferran Vendrell-Herrero
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Basque Institute of Competitiveness, and University of DeustoSan SebastiánSpain

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