Small Business Enterprise: An Economic Analysis

Small Business Enterprise: An Economic Analysis

Small Business Enterprise: An Economic Analysis

Small Business Enterprise: An Economic Analysis


This book confronts one of the major issues of contemporary industrial organization - the role of small business enterprise in a mature market economy. This book adopts an innovative approach & presents a new departure in small business economics.


This book could not have been written without assistance from various sources. I gratefully acknowledge financial support from the following bodies: University of Edinburgh Travel and Research Grant Fund, Scottish Economic Society, Nuffield Foundation, David Hume Institute and Leverhulme Trust.

I have enjoyed working with many people on the projects upon which this book is based. I should particularly mention my appreciation for Lowell R. Jacobsen’s involvement at the inception of the earliest project. He assisted with the field work and the database construction, and collaborated in the earliest published work, Reid and Jacobsen (1988). Cliff Pratten was an important source of encouragement at the stage of building on this early work. Julian Read and Sandra Rice advised on the design of the database. Many people have advised me on the statistical front, of whom I should mention, with thanks, John Duffy, the late David Williams, Gordon Hughes, Brian Main, Steve Satchell, and Michael Prentice. Sandra Rice and Karen Chan undertook the necessary computer programming and Shane Voss and Julian Crowe have given me helpful advice on local computing arrangements.

Anne-Theresa Lawrie assisted in the reinterview fieldwork, as did Jacqueline Campbell, who also provided invaluable help in auditing the database and ensuring it was as complete and accurate as human frailty permits. Christopher Corrie acted as my statistical assistant during my holding of a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship. I should also acknowledge fruitful collaborations with V. Bhaskar, S. Machin and A. Snell. Where joint work is involved, this is indicated in the text.

I enjoyed corresponding with R.D.S. Jack, Professor of Scottish and Medi-aeval Literature, University of Edinburgh, concerning the appropriate dating of the quote from Burns’ ‘On seeing Miss Fontanelle in a favourite character’ which I use on the dedication page.†

To the many people in the business community who so willingly gave me assistance, and to the academic community in industrial economics which has

† See: James Kinsley (ed.) The Poems and Songs of Robert Burns (1968), Oxford, Clarendon Press.

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