Institutions, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Growth in Europe

Niels Bosma*, Jeroen Content, Mark Sanders, Erik Stam

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Institutions have a decisive impact on the prevalence and nature of entrepreneurship. To date, the impact of institutions on (productive) entrepreneurship and the effects of entrepreneurship on economic growth have largely been investigated in isolation. In this paper, we bring together institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth using a parsimonious growth model in a 3SLS specification. In our first stage, we regress multiple measures of entrepreneurial activity on institutional proxies that are known to correlate with more productive forms of entrepreneurial activity. Using the fitted values of this first-stage regression as our proxy for productive entrepreneurship, we can then estimate a panel growth regression following Islam (1995) in a second stage. The third stage then optimizes the estimation of the two equations simultaneously. Our results show that productive entrepreneurship contributes to economic growth. In our set of proxies for institutional quality, financial stability, small government, and perceived start-up skills are the most important predictors of such productive entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-499
Number of pages17
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Macroeconomics: Production
  • Labor Demand
  • Entrepreneurship
  • New Firms; Startups
  • Institutions and Growth

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