Growth in the Number of Firms and the Economic Freedom Index in a Dynamic Model of the U.S. States

By Campbell, Noel D.; Fayman, Alex et al. | Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research, May 2011 | Go to article overview

Growth in the Number of Firms and the Economic Freedom Index in a Dynamic Model of the U.S. States


Campbell, Noel D., Fayman, Alex, Heriot, Kirk, Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research


INTRODUCTION

Freedom indices of the world have established themselves as fixtures in the social sciences literature, especially in the economic growth literature. (e.g., Atukeren, 2005; Berggren and Jordahl, 2005; Gwartney, Lawson and Clark, 2005; Powell, 2005; Gwartney, Holcombe and Lawson, 2004; Nieswiadomy and Strazichich, 2004; Cole, 2003; Gwartney and Lawson, 2003; Gwartney, Block and Lawson, 1996) Across the literature, the consistent finding is that economic freedom, as measured by the various indices, is significantly and positively related to economic well-being. Citizens of nations with more economic freedom enjoy higher incomes, and as an economy becomes freer, incomes rise. Of course, some may object that the term "economic freedom" is not value neutral. Though true, the advocacy component of the indices creators does not alter the indices' proven research usefulness in summarizing a broad variety of government activities. One could choose to think of the indices in terms of "market liberalism," or "government economic non-interventionism."

Karabegovic, Samida, Schlegel and McMahon (2003) introduced a conceptually similar index, the Economic Freedom of North America index (EFNA) featuring economic freedom differences among U.S. states and Canadian provinces. Karabegovic, et al, used their index to explain income differences among the states, offering evidence that the EFNA is significantly, positively related to state levels and growth of economic activity.

Various researchers have used the EFNA (e.g., Ashby, 2005; Kreft and Sobel, 2005; Wang, 2005) to address questions of income differentials between states, income growth, entrepreneurship, and other research questions. Similar to Kreft and Sobel (2005), Gohmann, Hobbs & McCrickard (2008), Sobel (2008), and others, we apply the EFNA to questions of entrepreneurship. Specifically, we ask whether the political outcomes summarized by the EFNA are significantly related to growth in the number of businesses. Karabegovic, et al, argue that the EFNA measures economic freedom in states; furthermore, they argued that greater economic freedom results in higher income levels for state residents because greater economic freedom consists of greater opportunity to seek and exploit economic opportunities; that is, to pursue entrepreneurial activity. Freedom to exploit economic opportunities is also the freedom to create new businesses, so economic freedom should lead to more business births. However, such freedom is a double-edged sword. The freedom to start a business is also the freedom for that business to fail. Indeed, it is business births that create the "raw material" for business failures. Therefore, the impact of economic freedom on growth in the number of businesses is ambiguous, although the impact on society--higher incomes--is not.

This paper contains two innovations not found elsewhere in this stream of the literature. The first is the dependent variable, the measure of businesses. We use the annual growth rate in the number of firms, approximated by the annual difference in the natural log of the number of firms. Therefore, this measure implicitly includes firm births and firm deaths, and captures the full range of firm launches, whether partnership, corporation, etc. The second innovation is the use of a particular dynamic panel data estimator (Arellano and Bond, 1991) not found in this literature outside of a working paper. (1)

ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ECONOMIC FREEDOM, AND ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE

Promoting entrepreneurship has emerged as a significant policy tool for regional economic growth and job creation. The relevant policy question becomes which policies best promote entrepreneurship. A literature has developed around the concept that the appropriate policies are those will increase economic freedom. "Economic freedom" may be conceptualized as:

"Policies are consistent with economic freedom when they provide an infrastructure for voluntary exchange, and protect individuals and their property from aggressors seeking to use violence, coercion, and fraud to seize things that do not belong to them.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Growth in the Number of Firms and the Economic Freedom Index in a Dynamic Model of the U.S. States
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.