Firm demography and entrepreneurship in Eastern and Central Europe and in the Baltic region
This interdisciplinary (economic history/economics) project focuses on entrepreneurship and firm dynamics in the Nordic-, Central- and East European economies. Its focus is comparative and it takes on a long-term perspective (from 1830-2013). Even if there has been vast theoretical and empirical development in entrepreneurship and firm dynamics in the past few decades, there are still several gaps – empirical, methodological and theoretical. Research on firm dynamics – entry, growth, exit – in and across industries as well as in the macro economy, has also often employed short periods or cross-sectional approaches. This is believed to obstruct competing and/or complementary explanations such as the influence of economic cycles; institutional conditions and change, or structural transformation. The project focuses on variations in entrepreneurship and business activity across time and place. Our project contributes by studying different economic and institutional contexts. A demographic approach makes it possible to distinguish the general and universal from those particular cases (be it firms, industries, economies, or specific periods and events) that deviate, stand out, or are “unique”, regardless of time and place. In collaboration with researchers from mainly Central and Eastern Europe that work with the same questions as we do, the project assumes a comparative approach. The project provides an opportunity to generate new knowledge about the business dynamics in a more general context of other economies with distinct historical and institutional conditions.
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