Working Paper No. 1147

Has the Swedish Business Sector Become More Entrepreneurial than the U.S. Business Sector?

Published: December 21, 2016, revised November 2018Pages: 47Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Job dynamics; Matched employer-employee data; Industrial structure and structural changeJEL-codes: J23; K23; L26; L51

Has the Swedish Business Sector Become More Entrepreneurial than the U.S. Business Sector? Fredrik Heyman, Pehr-Johan Norbäck, Lars Persson and Fredrik Andersson


Recent studies document a 30-year decline in various measures of entrepreneurship in the U.S. Using detailed Swedish employer-employee data over the period 1990 to 2013, we find young firms to be more prominent in the Swedish business sector than in the U.S. business sector. Young Swedish firms, aged five years or less, account for more than half of all firms during this period. We also observe an increase in Swedish entrepreneurial activity for startups. However, increasing job destruction rates for young firms has implied a declining employment share for younger firms from the mid-2000s.

Moreover, most of the job creation by young firms occurs in the expanding service sector. We discuss different explanations for why Sweden appears not to have the same strong decline in entrepreneurial activity as the U.S. has had during the last two decades. We argue that one important explanation is economic reforms in Sweden in the 1990s that mitigated several hurdles to entrepreneurship.
 

 

Fredrik Heyman

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4537
fredrik.heyman@ifn.se

Pehr-Johan Norbäck

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4522
Mob: +46 73 574 3379
pehr-johan.norback@if...

Lars Persson

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4504
lars.persson@ifn.se

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Martin Ljunge, IFN, is the author of a chapter, "Trust promotes health: addressing reverse causality by studying children of immigrants", in a new book edited by Sherman Folland and Eric Nauenberg. The cutting edge of research is presented, covering the ever-expanding social capital field.

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