Entrepreneurship and competitiveness dynamics
in Latin America
Zoltan J. Acs Æ Jose
Accepted: 18 July 2008 / Published online: 13 September 2008
Ó The Author(s) 2008. This article is published with open access at Springerlink.com
Abstract This study analyses the relationship
between entrepreneurial dynamics and the level of
competitiveness in Latin American countries. Based
on a stage of economic development model, we
demonstrate that Latin American countries under the
model followed different paths related to competi-
tiveness. These different paths can explain the effect
of speciﬁc competitiveness conditions on entrepre-
neurial dynamics in Latin America.
Keywords Entrepreneurship Á Competitiveness Á
Development Á Latin America
JEL Classiﬁcations L26 Á M13 Á O54
There is tremendous diversity in the level and time-
series pattern of entrepreneurship across countries.
Acs et al. (1994) show that the major explanation for
this diversity is the stage of economic development.
They also show that the negative relationship between
entrepreneurship and economic development persists
after controlling for a number of other factors.
Although economic development is an extremely
powerful force behind the secular decline in entrepre-
neurship, the convergence of several factors in the
1970s tended to stem the secular decline in entrepre-
neurship for many countries (Blau 1987). Of 23 OECD
countries examined by Acs et al. (1994), 15 witnessed
increased entrepreneurship during the 1970s or 1980s.
Recent studies conﬁrm that during the last 2
decades, the development of new technologies and
emergence of new business models have enabled the
shift from large corporations to small and new
ventures (Acs and Audretsch 1988; Jorgenson 2001;
Audretsch and Thurik 2001; Thurow 2003). Entre-
preneurship contributes to economic performance by
introducing innovation, enhancing rivalry and creat-
ing competition (Wong et al. 2005). Nevertheless, the
competitive impact of these entrepreneurial efforts
differs between countries at the same level of
development (Carree et al. 2002), between countries
at different stages of development (Wennekers et al.
2005) and also among regions in a single country
(Acs and Armington 2004).
Z. J. Acs (&)
School of Public Policy, George Mason University,
Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
Z. J. Acs
Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena,
J. E. Amoro
Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago,
J. E. Amoro
ESADE Business School, Barcelona, Spain
Small Bus Econ (2008) 31:305–322