This paper compares the formation rates of co-operatives and conventional firms in Finland using regional data. The Finnish co-operative “wave” that began in the mid-1990s provides a useful setting for testing the hypothesis that co-operative formation rates are higher in depressed economic conditions. The empirical results support this hypothesis. Co-operatives are formed more often in regions with high unemployment; in contrast, conventional firms are formed more often when unemployment is low and demand growth is high. Furthermore, the existence of dedicated advisory services boosts the formation of co-operatives. These results indicate that co-operatives may play a useful role in reducing unemployment and that the formation of co-operatives may be influenced by policy measures.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 4, 2012
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