Entrepreneurship, institutional economics, and economic growth: an ecosystem perspective

Zoltan J. Acs, Saul Estrin*, Tomasz Mickiewicz, László Szerb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We analyze conceptually and in an empirical counterpart the relationship between economic growth, factor inputs, institutions, and entrepreneurship. In particular, we investigate whether entrepreneurship and institutions, in combination in an ecosystem, can be viewed as a “missing link” in an aggregate production function analysis of cross-country differences in economic growth. To do this, we build on the concept of National Systems of Entrepreneurship (NSE) as resource allocation systems that combine institutions and human agency into an interdependent system of complementarities. We explore the empirical relevance of these ideas using data from a representative global survey and institutional sources for 46 countries over the period 2002–2011. We find support for the role of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in economic growth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages14
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number2
Early online date6 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.


  • Economic growth
  • Ecosystem
  • Efficiency
  • Entrepreneurship
  • GEI
  • GEM
  • Solow residual
  • Technology


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