Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Economic Development Erik Stam, Massimo Riccaboni, Luigi Longo

84 hrs (3 ects)

 Learning Outcomes:

Understanding the nature, change and analytics of entrepreneurial ecosystems, entrepreneurship and economic development.


One of the key drivers of economic development is the process of entrepreneurship: the identification, evaluation and pursuit of opportunities for innovation. Why does entrepreneurship thrive in certain economies and not in others? How can economies be made more entrepreneurial? How can entrepreneurship be a means to improve aggregate well-being? These questions will be answered in this seminar.

Lecture Contents:

In this seminar we combine microeconomics (bottom-up theories of individuals, firms and markets) with macroeconomics (looking at the economy from the top down), to learn how innovation and entrepreneurship emerge and effect economic development. The key concept is the entrepreneurial ecosystem: a set of interdependent actors and factors that are governed in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship in a particular territory. This provides insights into how and why productive entrepreneurship is enabled and constrained by conditions including leadership, talent, knowledge, finance, culture, infrastructure, demand, and related policies.

This seminar combines economics, analytics and decision sciences. It starts from the economics of entrepreneurship and innovation, economic development, and policy, integrated in an entrepreneurial ecosystem approach, based in complexity economics. It provides new analytics, including diagnostics of national and regional economies, and monitoring & evaluation of policy interventions. It involves decision sciences, most explicitly decision support systems for policy choices (collective choice).

The lectures will (1) give an introduction and overview of the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach in the context of economic development, (2) introduce research methodologies for analyzing entrepreneurial ecosystems (machine learning, gravity models, network analysis), and will end with (3) a discussion of policy implications, in particular diagnostics, monitoring and evaluation.


Teaching Method:

Lectures, data analytics, small-group feedback sessions

Prepare lectures with the reading list and watching the online minicourse Introduction in Entrepreneurial Ecosystems   

https://www.uu.nl/en/organisation/centre-for-entrepreneurship/for-students/minicourse- introduction-in-entrepreneurial-ecosystems


Arthur, W. B. (2015). Complexity and the Economy. Chapter 1 in: Complexity economics. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Baumol, W. J. (1990). Entrepreneurship: Productive, Unproductive, and Destructive. Journal of Political Economy, 893-921.

Bettencourt, L. M., Lobo, J., Strumsky, D., & West, G. B. (2010). Urban scaling and its deviations: Revealing the structure of wealth, innovation and crime across cities. PloS one, 5(11), e13541.

Biancalani, F., Czarnitzki, D., & Riccaboni, M. (2022). The Italian start up act: A microeconometric program evaluation. Small Business Economics, 58(3), 1699-1720.

Bjørnskov, C., & Foss, N. J. (2016). Institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth: what do we know and what do we still need to know? The Academy of Management Perspectives, 30(3), 292–315. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2015.0135.


Hausmann, R., Rodrik, D., & Velasco, A. (2008). Growth diagnostics. In: Serra, N. & Stiglitz, J. (eds) The Washington consensus reconsidered: Towards a new global governance, 324-355.

Leendertse, J., Schrijvers, M., & Stam, E. (2022). Measure twice, cut once: Entrepreneurial ecosystem metrics.

Research Policy, 104336.

Mazzoni, L., Riccaboni, M. & Stam, E. (2022) Gli ecosistemi imprenditoriali Italiani: Un’analisi comparativa a livello           provinciale.        ARTES4.0          /            IMT               Lucca           /    Entrepreneurial Ecosystem                 Observatory.

https://www.entrepreneurialecosystemobservatory.nl/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Gli-ecosistemi- imprenditoriali-Italiani.pdf

Mazzoni, L., Riccaboni, M., & Stam, E. (2022) Non-local Startups and Entrepreneurial Economies. https://www.uu.nl/sites/default/files/LEG_USE_WP-22-03.pdf

Rodrik, D. (2008). A Practical Approach to Formulating Growth Strategies In: Serra, N. & Stiglitz, J. (eds) The Washington consensus reconsidered: Towards a new global governance, 356–366.

Stam, E. (2015). Entrepreneurial ecosystems and regional policy: a sympathetic critique. European planning studies, 23(9), 1759-1769.

Urbano, D., Aparicio, S., & Audretsch, D. (2019). Twenty-five years of research on institutions, entrepreneurship, and economic growth: what has been learned?. Small Business Economics, 53(1), 21-49.

Verginer, L., & Riccaboni, M. (2021). Talent goes to global cities: The world network of scientists’ mobility.

Research policy, 50(1), 104127.

Wurth, B., Stam, E., & Spigel, B. (2022). Toward an entrepreneurial ecosystem research program.

Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 46(3), 729-778.


Final Exam:

Research proposal or draft paper






Schedule Information: Lectures and small-group feedback sessions on Tuesday 10 and Wednesday 11 January 2023

Lectures: Tuesday 10 January 9-11 hrs & 14-16 hrs; Wednesday 11 January 9-11 hrs.


6 hours lectures =   12 hrs

Reading about 240 pages; 5 pages per hour = 48 hrs Preparing research proposal / paper =     22 hrs Feedback session =   2 hrs Total =  84 hrs

Required Resources: room, laptop, projector, camera + microphone (for online participants)

Open to:

visiting students

  • visiting students of joint programs (e.g. PhD in Artificial intelligence, National ..)
  • no visiting student


Please apply via Silvia Lucchesi at IMT ( silvia.lucchesi@imtlucca.it ), and indicate whether you just want to participate in the lectures or whether you want to enroll for the 3 ECTS version of the seminar (including research proposal or draft paper).