Small Business Economics

, Volume 28, Issue 2–3, pp 123–142 | Cite as

Could the Irish Miracle be Repeated in Hungary?

  • Zoltan J. Acs
  • Colm O’Gorman
  • Laszlo Szerb
  • Siri Terjesen


It is widely recognized that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) plays an important role in economic development. However, its impact on entrepreneurial activity has not been well researched. Internalization theory is used to explore how inward FDI impacts entrepreneurial activity. Using data from Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM), we find significant differences in entrepreneurial activity between Ireland and Hungary in both the type of people starting businesses and the opportunities pursued. Economic development policies should focus on increasing human capital, promoting enterprise development, and upgrading the quality of FDI.

Key words

Entrepreneurial activity economic development foreign direct investment knowledge spillovers Ireland Hungary 

JEL Classifications

L26 M13 F23 O57 


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László Szerb acknowledges the financial support of the Bolyai János Research Foundation. We thank participants at the GEM Research Conference in Budapest, Hungary, the Workshop on Opportunity Recognition at the Max Planck Institute, Jena, Germany, and the Tinbergen Institute Conference at George Mason University for valuable comments. We would also like to thank, David Storey, Saul Estrin, Dan Preznitz and two anonymous referees for valuable comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoltan J. Acs
    • 1
    • 2
  • Colm O’Gorman
    • 3
  • Laszlo Szerb
    • 4
  • Siri Terjesen
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.School of Public PolicyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute of EconomicsJenaGermany
  3. 3.UCD School of BusinessUniversity College DublinDublinIreland
  4. 4.Faculty of Business and EconomicsUniversity of PecsPecsHungary
  5. 5.Brisbane Graduate School of BusinessQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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