entrepreneurship, unemployment, economic development, Gibrat's Law
The relationship between unemployment and entrepreneurship has been shrouded with ambiguity. There is assumed to be a two-way causation between changes in the level of entrepreneurship and that of unemployment-- a "Schumpeter" effect of entrepreneurship reducing unemployment and a "refugee" or "shopkeeper" effect of unemployment stimulating entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to try to reconcile the ambiguities found in the relationship between unemployment and entrepreneurship. We do this by introducing a two equation model where changes in unemployment and in the number of business owners are linked to subsequent changes in those variables for a panel of 23 OECD countries over the period 1974-1998. The existence of two distinct and separate relationships between unemployment and entrepreneurship is identified including significant "Schumpeter" and "refugee" effects.