Regions, Human Capital and New Firm Formation
Sammanfattning: This thesis shows the importance of human capital at the individual, firm, and regional level through its effects on returns to education, firm productivity and new firm formation. The thesis further shows the importance of banks as a determinant for new firm formation at the local level. The thesis comprises of five chapters, one introductory chapter followed by four independent chapters, empirical in their nature.The second chapter in the thesis, Regional Variations of Returns to Education, analyses individuals’ return to education in different regional contexts. The results show that returns to education differ according to type of location. Conclusively, the often-assumed hypothesis of equal returns to education for all regions in a country can be rejected. The second chapter, Human Capital and Firm Performance, uses a firm perspective and tests how human capital, within and outside the firm, influences firm productivity. Results show that both types of human capital are positively associated with firm productivity. Overall, it is firm attributes that explain most of the productivity variance. The third chapter, Accessibility to Human Capital and New Firm Formation, compares how human capital influences new firm formation in different regional categories. Overall, it is the access to human capital at the local and intra-regional level that increases the new firm formation rate. However, the influence from human capital differs across the regional categories and their position in the hierarchical system. The last chapter, Banks and New Firm Formation, analyses how different characteristics of the local bank sector influence new firm formation. The average size of bank branches per capita, independent banks, bank branches per capita and the competitive level are positively associated with local startups.
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