Twenty-five years of research on institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth: what has been learned?

  • David UrbanoEmail author
  • Sebastian Aparicio
  • David Audretsch


This paper analyzes an emergent stream of research shedding light on the institutional factors shaping entrepreneurial activity and its effect on economic growth. This integrative analysis spanning a broad spectrum of diverse literature enables a distinction between two different research lines in the field of entrepreneurship. The findings of this study, based on articles from the journals included in the Web of Science database, facilitate a broader comprehension of two separate lines of research, which allows an analysis of the interaction among institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth. The systematic literature analysis over the last 25 years (1992–2016) of research reveals that institutions could be related to economic growth through entrepreneurship, which would open new research questions about what institutional factors are conducive to entrepreneurship, which in turn spurs economic growth. Thus, not only is understanding both complex relationships and their possible sequence useful for planning strategies and public policies, but it is also helpful for advancing and providing new insights in these research fields, which could be complementary and interdisciplinary.


Institutional approach Entrepreneurship Economic growth Economic development Formal and informal institutions Systematic literature analysis 

JEL Classification

B52 L26 M13 O17 O40 



David Urbano acknowledges the financial support from projects ECO2017-87885-P (Spanish Ministry of Economy & Competitiveness) and 2017-SGR-1056 (Economy & Knowledge Department, Catalan Government).

Supplementary material

11187_2018_38_MOESM1_ESM.docx (142 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 142 kb)


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BusinessUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Durham University Business SchoolDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  3. 3.Institute for Development Strategies, School of Public and Environmental AffairsIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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