Call for Papers - Special Issue on Entrepreneurial Territories: Measures, Determinants and Outcomes

Special Issue Editors:

Marcus Dejardin, CERPE-DeFiPP, University of Namur & CIRTES-LIDAM, UCLouvain,

Nadine Levratto, EconomiX, CNRS-University Paris Nanterre

Since the very beginning of the 1990s, a large number of policy initiatives have sought to promote business start-ups to foster both economic and job growths. The underlying idea is that new firms contribute to the dynamism of the economy and that they are able to promote structural change, innovation and new job creation. However, despite the large number of papers, books and reports on this topic, a lot remains to be done to better understand why and how potential entrepreneurs decide to create a new business in a given place, and why some places are more entrepreneurial than others. Besides individual characteristics which have long been considered as key explanatory factors in the business creation process (Shook, Priem, & McGee, 2003), local characteristics have also been introduced as explanatory variables in several papers (Dejardin 2004; Boutillier, Carré, and Levratto 2016; Audretsch, Dohse, and Niebuhr 2010) inspired, among others, by Keeble and Walker (1994). Time has passed since the publication of the seminal research by Reynolds & Storey (1993) and the edition of the special issue of the Annals of Regional Science dealing with Demography of the firm and spatial dynamics (1994). The research on the role of places and territories as explanatory factors of the regional propensity to create new businesses has been developed and econometric techniques implemented have also changed.

It is almost impossible today to publish a paper in which regional context appears as a dummy variable in the empirical equation. Agglomeration effects taking the form of localization or urbanization economies (Moomaw, 1988) have not been systematically shown to play an expected significant role in firm entry, renewing the interest on the question of the so-called inner city incubator effect (Fotopoulos & Louri, 2000). Other critical aspects have been emphasized. These include: globalization (Audretsch, Grilo, & Thurik, 2012), unemployment (Santarelli, Caree, & Verheul, 2009), financial context (Arcuri & Levratto, 2018), culture (Fritsch & Wyrwich, 2019).

Simultaneously, the enrichment of local datasets and the increasing sophistication and robustness of spatial econometric techniques (Anselin & Bera, 1998; Anselin, Le Gallo, & Jayet, 2008) make possible to integrate an increasing number of variables and to take into account distance and proximity, improving the empirical knowledge about the local determinants of entrepreneurship. An abundant literature has thus focused on the various local characteristics that can intervene to shape the entrepreneurial propensity in a given place and the spatial inequalities observed whatever the spatial unit considered.

Behind the fragmented conceptualizations, approaches, and focus one can detect a common assumption: the local entry rate is the result of implicit or explicit, structural or temporary factors. There is a need for additional theoretically-sound and empirically-based papers embodying both analytical rigor and practical relevance with regards to the local determinants of entrepreneurship. In other words, little research has investigated the geography of entrepreneurship considering the comprehensive conception of territory proposed by Camagni & Capello (2013) or Perucca (2014). This new chapter of the regional science (Capello, 2019) lead us to consider that now is the time to invite scholars to propose a fresh look at the relationship between entrepreneurship and the local context.

This Special Issue aims at filling this gap, which may represent an essential step in order to contribute to the debate/complete the puzzle on the role of territory in firm demography.

Possible Research Topics

This Special Issue seeks high-quality submissions that provide significant contributions, whether theoretical or empirical, to favour a clearer understanding of entrepreneurship at a regional and a sub-regional level. Below are some illustrative research questions (not exhaustive) that would be suitable for inclusion in the Special Issue. In addition, this Special Issue encourages submissions that probe local entrepreneurship from multiple and cross-disciplinary perspectives such as geography, law and institutions, strategic management, and economics, among others.

  • How can we measure regional entrepreneurship?
  • Are all territories equal in their entrepreneurial perspectives?
  • How do explicit and tacit determinants interplay to explain entrepreneurship?
  • What is the role of culture? How do individual characteristics and local culture interact in determining the entrepreneurial propensity?
  • How to estimate local impacts of macroeconomic shocks on entrepreneurship?
  • What are the roles of local determinants of firm entry and survival at a sub-regional level?
  • What is the role of territorial capital in the explanation of local difference in business creation?
  • Does entrepreneurship interact with regional resilience?
  • What is the role of crisis in the evolution of the local entrepreneurial rate?
  • How do local and historical contexts interplay in explaining entry rates or entrepreneurial propensity?
  • Do entrepreneurs create their business where they live or do they choose where to locate their business?

Submission Process and Deadlines

The Special Issue Editors will organize a formal workshop to select between and to develop the papers that pass the first round of reviews, to discuss these further and to provide editorial guidance for additional revisions. This workshop will be organized at University Paris Nanterre on November 20, 2020.

Expression of interest with a one-page abstract must be posted by March 16, 2020, to Manuscripts must be submitted by August 15, 2020 to
Submitted papers that will be selected to take part in the workshop will then go through the Annals of Regional Science regular double-blind review process. The expected publication is in Fall 2021.


Anselin, L., & Bera, A. K. (1998). Spatial dependence in linear regression models with an introduction to spatial econometrics. In A. Ullah & D. E. A. Giles (Eds.), Handbook of applied economic statistics (pp. 237–246). Naw York: Marcel Dekker.
Anselin, L., Le Gallo, J., & Jayet, H. (2008). Spatial Panel Econometrics. Advanced Studies in Theoretical and Applied Econometrics, 46, 625–660.
Arcuri, G., & Levratto, N. (2018). Early stage SME bankruptcy: does the local banking market matter? Small Business Economics.
Audretsch, D. B., Dohse, D., & Niebuhr, A. (2010). Cultural diversity and entrepreneurship: a regional analysis for Germany. The Annals of Regional Science, 45, 55–85.
Audretsch, D. B., Grilo, I., & Thurik, A. R. (2012). Globalization, entrepreneurship and the region.
Boutillier, S., Carré, D., & Levratto, N. (2016). Entrepreneurial Ecosystems. In Entrepreneurial Ecosystems (Vol. 2).
Camagni, R., & Capello, R. (2013). Regional Competitiveness and Territorial Capital: A Conceptual Approach and Empirical Evidence from the European Union. Regional Studies, 47(9), 1383–1402.
Capello, R. (2019). Space, Growth and Development: a Historical Perspective and Recent Advances. In R. Capello & P. Nijkamp (Eds.), Handbook of Regional Growth and Development Theories (pp. 24–47). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Dejardin, M. (2004). Sectoral and cross-sectoral effects of retailing firm demographies. Annals of Regional Science, 38(2), 311–334.
Fotopoulos, G., & Louri, H. (2000). Location and Survival of New Entry. Small Business Economics, 14(4), 311–321.
Fritsch, M., & Wyrwich, M. (2019), Regional Trajectories of Entrepreneurship, Knowledge, and Growth. The Role of History and Culture, International Studies in Entrepreneurship, Springer.
Keeble, D., & Walker, S. (1994). New Firms, Small Firms and Dead Firms: Spatial Patterns and Determinants in the United Kingdom. Regional Studies, 28(4), 411–427.
Moomaw Ronald L. (1988). Agglomeration Economies: Localization or Urbanization? Urban Studies, 25(2), 150–161.
Perucca, G. (2014). The Role of Territorial Capital in Local Economic Growth: Evidence from Italy. European Planning Studies, 22(3), 537–562.
Reynolds, P. D., & Storey, D. J. (1993). Local and regional characteristics affecting small business formation: a cross national comparison. Paris.
Santarelli, E., Caree, M., & Verheul, I. . (2009). Unemployment and Firm Entry and Exit: An Update on a Controversial Relationship. Regional Studies, 43(8), 1061–1073.
Shook, C. L., Priem, R. L., & McGee, J. E. (2003). Venture Creation and the Enterprising Individual: A Review and Synthesis. Journal of Management, 29(3), 379–399.