Class and Entrepreneurship

By Richard Florida

We all know the power of an Apple or a Google to create new business models and generate massive new wealth. But, long ago, the great economist Joseph Schumpeter argued that the formation of new entrepreneurs lies behind the great "gales of creative destruction" which set in place new firms and industries and revolutionize old ones.

The last couple of days, we've looked at how class effects economic growth and innovation. We now look at the relationship between class and entrepreneurship. In the graphs below, Charlotta Mellander compares countries' performance on the Global Entrepreneurship Index developed by economist Zoltan Acs to shares of the creative class and working class.

Again, the results speak for themselves. Entrepreneurial countries are creative class countries. Those with high percentages of the creative class have higher scores on the Global Entrepreneurship Index.

The opposite is true of countries with a large share of the working class. Their scores on the Global Entrepreneurship Index are considerably lower.

Source of all graphics: Martin Prosperity Institute

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2009/05/class-and-entrepreneurship/17652/