The geography of starts-ups in Sweden. The role of human capital, social capital and agglomeration

In academia as well as in policy circles, entrepreneurial activities are placed at the focal point for regional development. However, geographical factors such as urbanization and peripherality are often neglected in this strand of research despite the increasing need for place-specific policies. The aim of this paper is therefore to analyse how start-up rates vary across municipalities in Sweden 2002–2012 by focussing on spatial differences of human capital, social capital, entrepreneurial culture and industrial specialization. Our multilevel models show how the degree of rurality and peripherality, respectively, moderates the role of different regional resources. The paper concludes by suggesting the formulation of separate policies considering urban, rural and more peripheral regions.