Economic Dynamism: Essays on firm entry and firm growth

Economic dynamism, Entreprenörskap, Företagandets villkor, Företagstillväxt, Gaseller, Gibrat's lag, Innovation, Niklas Elert, Regional ekonomi


The topic of this thesis is economic dynamism. The five articles contribute to the literature on firm entry and firm growth. Studies are based on a dataset covering all Swedish limited liability firms between 1997 and 2010.

The first article investigates conditions for firm entry in Sweden, distinguishing regular entrants from entrants that survive for at least two years, modelling the firm entry decision using count data models. While high income and a well-educated population had a positive effect, the effect was more important for surviving entrants. The second article uses a similar method, but focuses on wholesale industries and distinguishes between regular entry and in migration of firms, i.e. when an incumbent firm relocates its operations. Access to a university, many educated workers and low local taxes had positive effects. Better access to infrastructure had a strong positive effect on entrants, but it was smaller for in-migrating firms. The third article investigates if the industry context matters for whether Gibrat’s law holds, i.e. whether firm growth is independent of firm size. The law is found more likely to be rejected in industries with a high minimum efficient scale and a large number of firms located in metropolitan areas, but more likely to hold in industries with high market concentration and more group ownership. The fourth and fifth article contribute to the high-growth firms (HGFs) literature. In the fourth article it is examined whether the way HGFs are defined matters for the policy implications. It is found that the economic contributions of HGFs differ significantly depending on definition. Young firms are however more likely to be HGFs irrespective of definition. The fifth article considers the frequent argument that policymakers should target high-tech firms, i.e., firms with high R&D intensity, because such firms are thought more likely to become HGFs. We examine this assumption by studying the industry distribution of HGFs. Results indicate that industries with high R&D intensity, ceteris paribus, can be expected to have a lower share of HGFs than can industries with lower R&D intensity. By contrast, we find that HGFs are overrepresented in service industries with a high share of human capital.

Elert, N. (2014). Economic Dynamism: Essays on firm entry and firm growth. Doctoral dissertation, Örebro University, Örebro.

Similar content

Third-Generation Innovation Policy: System Transformation or Reinforcing Business as Usual?
Book chapterPublication
Bergkvist, J. E., Moodysson, J., & Sandström, C.
Publication year


Published in

Questioning the Entrepreneurial State, 201.


There has been a shift in innovation policy in recent years toward more focus on systemic transformation and changed directionality. In this chapter, we describe a collection of challenges that such policies need to address. Based on a review of dominant frameworks regarding socio-technical transitions, we compare these theories with examples of innovation policy in different countries. Systemic transformation across an economy usually requires a process of creative destruction in which new competencies may be required, actors need to be connected in novel ways, and institutions may need to be changed. Our empirical illustrations show that support programs and initiatives across Europe do not always seem to result in such a process, as they include mechanisms favoring large, established firms and universities. These actors have often fine-tuned their activities and capabilities to the existing order, and therefore have few incentives to engage in renewal. As the incumbent actors also control superior financial and relational resources, there is a risk that they captivate innovation policies and thus reinforce established structures rather than contributing to systemic transformation.

Government-sponsored entrepreneurship education: Is less more?
Article (with peer review)Publication
Sjöö, K., Elert, N. & Wennberg, K.
Publication year



Entrepreneurship research suggests that entrepreneurship education and training can bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship, but little empirical research exists assessing the validity and impact of such initiatives. We examine a large government-sponsored entrepreneurship education program aimed at university students in Sweden. While a pre-study indicates that longer university courses are associated with short-term outcomes such as increased self-efficacy and entrepreneurial intentions, results from a more comprehensive study using a pre-post design suggest little effect from these extensive courses on long-term outcomes such as new venture creation and entrepreneurial income. In contrast, we do find positive effects on these long-term outcomes from more limited but more specific training interventions, especially for women. Our study suggests that less extensive but more tailored interventions can be more beneficial than longer or more extensive interventions in promoting entrepreneurship in general, and entrepreneurship of underrepresented groups in particular. We discuss implications for theory, education, and policy.

Assessing user perceptions of the interplay between the sharing, access, platform and community‐based economies
Article (with peer review)Publication
Geissinger, A., Laurell, C., Öberg, C., Sandström, C. & Suseno, Y.
Publication year



Digitally intermediated peer-to-peer exchanges have accelerated in occurrence, and as a consequence, they have introduced an increased pluralism of connotations. Accordingly, this paper aims to assess user perceptions of the interplay between the sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies.

The sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies have been systematically tracked in the social media landscape using Social Media Analytics (SMA). In doing so, a total material of 62,855 publicly posted user-generated content concerning the four respective economies were collected and analyzed.

Even though the sharing economy has been conceptually argued to be interlinked with the access, platform, and community-based economies, the empirical results of the study do not validate this interlinkage. Instead, the results regarding user perceptions in social media show that the sharing, access, platform, and community-based economies manifest as clearly separated.

This paper contributes to existing literature by offering an empirical validation, as well as an in-depth understanding, of the sharing economy’s interlinkage to other economies, along with the extent to which the overlaps between these economies manifest in social media.

Show more

Postgiro: 382621-1


Bankgiro: 512-6578