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Small Business Economics

, Volume 44, Issue 2, pp 283–298 | Cite as

Are entrepreneurship and cognitive skills related? Some international evidence

  • R. W. HaferEmail author
  • Garett Jones
Article

Abstract

Do national differences in cognitive skills (CS) predict a nation’s likelihood of generating high-quality entrepreneurs who create and expand high-value businesses? We answer this question by estimating cross-country regressions that use the Acs and Szerb Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI) and a measure of national CS. After including conventional controls we find for a sample of 60 countries that our measure of CS robustly predicts the GEDI (unconditional correlation = 0.65, standardized beta = 0.42), an index that gives weight to both entrepreneurial attitudes within a nation and the institutional and economic prerequisites for creating high-value, high-growth firms. We find that this result also holds for an alternative measure of entrepreneurship.

Keywords

Entrepreneurship Cognitive skills Economic freedom 

JEL Classifications

A1 F2 K00 M2 L26 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank Zoltan Acs, Ari Belasen, Randall Holcombe, Gerhard Meisenberg, the editor and two anonymous referees for their comments and suggestions that significantly improved an earlier version of this paper. We of course retain all responsibility for any errors.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Mercatus CenterGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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