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Entrepreneurial urban development: culture, institutions and economic evolution

Huggins, Robert ORCID: and Thompson, Piers 2014. Entrepreneurial urban development: culture, institutions and economic evolution. Leadership and Policy Quarterly 3 (3) , pp. 103-126.

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Studies have generally found that economic factors are able to explain changes in entrepreneurial activity over time, but are less effective at explaining the persistent differences in entrepreneurial activity between places, such as cities. Other scholarly research suggests relationships between the culture and institutions evident in particular places and the level of entrepreneurship found in these places, resulting in path dependent development. This may have implications for cities, and particular neighborhoods within cities, which have long sought to use entrepreneurship as a method for alleviating deprivation and poverty. This study develops an evolutionary theory of entrepreneurial urban development entwining the entrepreneurial, institutional and cultural factors underpinning such development. Drawing on an analysis of urban local authority areas in England, it is argued that an evolutionary theory helps to not only explain those factors favoring entrepreneurship, but also to understand those elements that constrain and limit entrepreneurship. In less successful urban areas, ineffective formal institutions are coupled with a cultural environment unsuited to the formation of the level entrepreneurship capital found in their more successful counterparts. The theoretical model presented in this paper suggests that whilst entrepreneurship has often been picked out as a possible solution for urban areas with higher levels of deprivation, policy interventions are likely to result in only limited success unless systemic cultural and institutional changes are forthcoming.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Publisher: Untested Ideas Research Center
ISSN: 2168-7706
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Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:33

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