A PLACE FOR AREA‐BASED POLICY? THE SURVIVAL AND GROWTH OF LOCAL FIRMS IN DUTCH RESIDENTIAL NEIGHBORHOODS
ABSTRACT: Although their market scope often exceeds the neighborhood level, for most entrepreneurs of small‐scale firms the neighborhood is the relevant arena for both their professional activities and their personal affairs. Dutch local economic policy aims to stimulate new firm formation and firm survival in (disadvantaged) neighborhoods by conditioning economic, social, and physical aspects of the neighborhood such as economic zoning and clustering, livability, and the quality of the built‐up area. Although substantial differences in firm success exist across neighborhoods, it is not clear whether area‐level factors contribute to these differences, suggesting that area‐level policies are useful, or whether differences are due to either urban effects or to microlevel entrepreneurial and firm composition effects. This article distinguishes neighborhood effects from composition effects on local firm survival and firm growth, thereby also taking into account spatial dependence across neighborhoods. Our results suggest that aspects of the local livability of neighborhoods and of economic agglomeration are significantly related to individual firm survival and firm growth. The models provide proof for spillover effects of livability problems and market potential between adjacent neighborhoods. Neighborhoods and cities are therefore potentially places for area‐based policies, aiming at the survival and growth of local firms.
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Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Utrecht University
Publication date: 2012-12-01