Cultural Amenities, Subcultures and Entrepreneurship

45 Pages Posted: 15 Mar 2017 Last revised: 7 Jul 2017

See all articles by David B. Audretsch

David B. Audretsch

Indiana University - Institute for Development Strategies; King Saud University; WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management; Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA)

Erik E. Lehmann

University of Augsburg - Faculty of Business and Economics

Nikolaus Seitz

University of Augsburg

Date Written: February 14, 2017

Abstract

Paradoxically, what powers knowledge-based economies is not knowledge. Rather, it is their capacity for creativity. Creativity transforms knowledge into valuable ideas and products, resulting in innovation and entrepreneurial activity. Previous research has stressed the relevance of creativity as a geographically-bounded source of spillovers where the culture provides an important stimulus. However, what specific kind of culture is actually needed and under which conditions it arises, remains both unknown and controversial. A rising stream of research has focused on the amenities offered, such as operas, museums and theaters, and how they affect local creativity and entrepreneurial outcomes – yet, with mixed results. This paper fills this important gap in the literature by positing that rather than mainstream culture it is subcultural life that explains why some places emerge as creative hotspots while others do not. We utilize explorative factor analysis to compare the impact of different proxies measuring subcultural amenities against measures which have traditionally been used to reflect "mainstream" culture on startup rates in German cities. Our findings confirm that the co-presence of subcultural amenities is positively associated to entrepreneurship. By contrast, mainstream culture has no significant impact on local startup rates. These findings make an important contribution to the recent controversy within the regional studies literature and provide insights and guidance for thought leaders in policy and urban planning.

Keywords: Startups, Creative Class, Culture, Subculture, Knowledge spillovers

JEL Classification: O30, O18, R11, J24

Suggested Citation

Audretsch, David B. and Lehmann, Erik E. and Seitz, Nikolaus, Cultural Amenities, Subcultures and Entrepreneurship (February 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2932887 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2932887

David B. Audretsch

Indiana University - Institute for Development Strategies ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States
812-855-6766 (Phone)
812-855-0184 (Fax)

King Saud University ( email )

P.O. Box 2460
Riyadh, 11451
Saudi Arabia

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Indiana University Bloomington - School of Public & Environmental Affairs (SPEA) ( email )

1315 East Tenth Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Erik E. Lehmann

University of Augsburg - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Universitätsstr. 16
Augsburg, 86135
Germany

Nikolaus Seitz (Contact Author)

University of Augsburg ( email )

Universitätsstr. 2
Augsburg, 86159
Germany

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