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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See the discussion offered by Blackburn and Kovalainen (2009), Fried (2003), Landström et al. (2012), and Teixeira (2011).

  2. 2.

    See for instance Aidis et al. (2008), Alvarez et al. (2011), Busenitz et al. (2000), Dana (1987), Mueller and Thomas (2001), Reynolds et al. (1999, 2000, 2001), and Urbano and Alvarez (2014), among others.

  3. 3.

    It is important to highlight that we only focus on articles dealing with a country’s or region’s gross domestic product (GDP-total or per capita) or GDP growth, as well as labor productivity or total factor productivity (TFP) (van Praag and Versloot 2007).

  4. 4.

    See for instance Acs et al. (2012), Audretsch and Keilbach (2004a), Audretsch and Keilbach (2008), and Wennekers and Thurik (1999), among others.

  5. 5.

    In this article, we use indistinctively institutional approach, institutional perspective, institutional theory, institutional economics, and institutional economic theory.

  6. 6.

    See for instance Aldrich and Zimmer (1986), Berger (1991), Busenitz et al. (2000), Manolova et al. (2008), Shapero and Sokol (1982), Steyaert and Katz (2004), Stephen et al. (2009), and van Stel et al. (2007), among others.

  7. 7.

    Some works have analyzed this type of institution. For instance, Aidis et al. (2012), Baughn et al. (2006), Bruton et al. (2009), Busenitz et al. (2000), Chowdhury et al. (2015a, 2015b), and Estrin et al. (2013a), among others.

  8. 8.

    For example, Aidis et al. (2008), Estrin and Mickiewicz (2012), Field et al. (2010), Levie and Autio (2008), Meek et al. (2010), Stephan et al. (2015), and van Hemmen et al. (2015), among others.

  9. 9.

    See for instance Aldrich and Fiol (1994), Braunerhjelm et al. (2015), Busenitz et al. (2000), Calcagno and Sobel (2014), De Clercq et al. (2010), Meek et al. (2010), Manolova et al. (2008), Spencer and Gómez (2004), Stenholm et al. (2013), and Valdez and Richardson (2013).

  10. 10.

    Some of the works are Aidis et al. (2008), Bauernschuster et al. (2010), Estrin et al. (2013a, 2013b), Estrin and Mickiewicz (2012), Urbano et al. (2011), and Urbano and Alvarez (2014).

  11. 11.

    See for example Aubry et al. (2015), Audretsch et al. (2015a), Bosma et al. (2011), Braunerhjelm and Borgman (2004), and van Stel et al. (2005).

  12. 12.

    Some of the works conducting this analysis are Acs et al. (2008b, 2012), Agarwal et al. (2007), Audretsch (2007), Audretsch and Keilbach (2004a, 2008), and Noseleit (2013).

  13. 13.

    For instance, Bruton et al. (2010), Thornton et al. (2011), Veciana and Urbano (2008), and Welter and Smallbone (2008, 2011), among others.

  14. 14.

    Apart from the institutional and economic approaches considered in this article, perspectives that involve psychological (Collins et al. 1964; McClelland 1961; Krueger 1993 and Krueger and Brazeal 1994; Shepherd 2015; among others) and organizational (Alvarez and Busenitz 2001; Barney 1991; Barney et al. 2001; Chesbrough 2003, 2006; Leih and Teece 2016; Teece et al. 1997; Teece 2007; among others) approaches are also used in our field of research. However, some studies are starting to consider another level of analysis, just between the organization and the environment; this type of analysis, the entrepreneurship-innovation ecosystems approach, mainly focuses on clusters, business-innovation, or industry (Isenberg 2010; Mason and Brown 2014, among others).

  15. 15.

    See for instance Gómez-Haro et al. (2011), Ribeiro-Soriano and Urbano (2009), Toledano et al. (2010), Turró et al. (2014), and Turro et al. (2016).

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Acknowledgements

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).

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Urbano, D., Aparicio, S. & Audretsch, D. Twenty-five years of research on institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth: what has been learned?. Small Bus Econ 53, 21–49 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-018-0038-0

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Keywords

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

JEL Classification

  • B52
  • L26
  • M13
  • O17
  • O40