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Recent studies have shown that the contribution of small firms to employment and GDP is increasing. A large amount of work has also established the significance of social and economic variables for entrepreneurial decisions. Very little is known, however, about how government policies and programs influence entrepreneurial activity, and whether these effects are consistent across countries. Using original data from a representative sample of 10,000 individuals and from more than 300 open-ended interviews in 10 countries, this article provides some suggestive evidence that government intervention aimed at enhancing the underlying environment of entrepreneurial decisions may be more effective than intervention designed to provide safety nets.



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