Discussion Paper

No. 2019-47 | August 19, 2019
Export activity, innovation and institutions in Southern European nascent entrepreneurship


This paper studies the role of personal characteristics, perceptual variables and country-level conditioning (financial environment, government quality and support, education quality and entrepreneurship know-how, innovation environment and support, business infrastructure, entrepreneurial culture and society, and gender roles) in explaining the export propensity and intensity of nascent entrepreneurs in four Southern European countries (Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece), using Total Early-stage Entrepreneurial Activity (TEA) data from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) dataset in 2003–2010. Due to the nascent nature of the business, export activity is starting or about to start at the time of the survey and, for that reason, it cannot be studied using theoretical frameworks based on productivity heterogeneity, which has not yet been measured. In this sample of nascent businesses, there is no evidence of a selection effect into exporting and the individual-level factors influencing export propensity and intensity are identical. The most relevant individual-level variables facilitating export activity are new products, new technology, graduate education, and entrepreneurship networks. The most relevant country-level factors facilitating export activity are the availability of funding, the national government’s macroeconomic support, and the support for new technology.

JEL Classification:

F14, J24, L26, O43


  • Downloads: 333


Cite As

Helena Marques (2019). Export activity, innovation and institutions in Southern European nascent entrepreneurship. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2019-47, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2019-47

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
September 17, 2019 - 09:54

The paper is interesting and methodologically sound.

Elias Soukiazis - entrepreneurship
October 30, 2019 - 10:13

This is a very interesting paper, well written and properly discussed. Analysing the factors explaining export intensity and export propensity is of great importance in terms of policy orientation and the profile of entrepreneurs. The empirical analysis is properly contacted obtaining reasonable results which are useful for policy orientation. The ...[more]

... paper uses data from a survey covering the period 2003-2010 referred to southern European countries, who suffered from the debt crisis. I´m wondering whether more recent data could be used to analyse the post-recession recovering period of these countries. Due to a large number of covariates used the consequences of multicolinearity should be analysed in more debt, which affects the significance level of the coefficients. It should be interesting to include interaction terms between the covariates and test their relevance.