Small Business Economics: Political Economy of Entrepreneurship

Starts:  Mar 19, 2024 09:00 (ET)
Ends:  Jun 30, 2024 23:59 (ET)
Associated with  Entrepreneurship (ENT)

Special Issue 

Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal (SBEJ) 

“The Political Economy of Entrepreneurship” 

This special issue of Small Business Economics (SBEJ) is open to contributions that address important and understudied issues related to the political economy of entrepreneurship. We welcome rigorous theoretical and empirical research from a broad spectrum of academic disciplines. We especially encourage insights from a public choice and/or new institutional economics perspective, although studies adopting other political economy perspectives that improve our understanding of the relationship between politics and entrepreneurship will also be considered. The call for papers below provides a detailed introduction to the topic and elucidates several important gaps in the literature, as well as raises numerous potential research questions that could be addressed in the special issue. KEY DEADLINES Submission of abstracts for In-Person PDW: May 31, 2023 Submission of extended abstracts for Virtual PDW: October 31, 2023 Submission of full papers: June 30, 2024 See pages 5-6 for a complete timeline and submission instructions. 

The idea that entrepreneurs are a key driver of economic progress is evident in the writings of seminal political economists such as Adam Smith (1776), Joseph Schumpeter (1934, 1942), and Frank Knight (1921). However, it is not until relatively recently that policymakers and scholars around the world have begun to recognize the critical role of entrepreneurs for innovation, job creation, and economic and social advancement. This recognition has led to the crafting of public policies intended to foster the emergence and growth of innovative new ventures in many countries around the world. Indeed, governments have developed a wide range of policy interventions intended to spur more entrepreneurship, innovation, and ultimately economic growth (Mason & Brown, 2013; Minniti, 2008). Such interventions are typically justified on the assumption that there exist market failures that hinder individuals from launching innovative startups with high-growth potential, resulting in a suboptimal number of entrepreneurs and 2 potential spillover-generating innovations (Block et al., 2018; Dvouletý et al., 2021). Such arguments are often advanced to justify a need for the so-called entrepreneurial state. 

While there exists empirical evidence suggestive that certain entrepreneurship and innovation policies have been successful, depending crucially on policy design (Becker, 2015; Lerner, 2010), much of the evidence only considers short-term effects and/or is based on research designs that do not support causal inferences (Dvouletý et al., 2021). There is also growing evidence of entrepreneurship policies failing to deliver on their promises, leading some scholars to question the efficacy of the entrepreneurial state (Audretsch & Fiedler, 2023; Wennberg & Sandström, 2022) and call for greater public choice considerations in the assessment and discussion of entrepreneurship and innovation policy (Karlson et al., 2021; Lucas & Boudreaux, 2020). This special issue of SBEJ seeks to advance these emerging calls by inviting contributions that address important and understudied issues related to the political economy of entrepreneurship. In doing so, the papers published in this special issue will contribute to an improved understanding of why entrepreneurship policies are enacted and the consequences of such policies for entrepreneurs and society at large.

Daniel L. Bennett, University of Louisville

Christopher J. Boudreaux, Florida Atlantic University

Steve Gohmann, University of Louisville

Maria Minniti, Syracuse University


Submit complete manuscipts via email to with "SBEJ Political Economy SI Submission" in the subject line by EOD June 30, 2024.

The guest editors will manage the editorial and review process of the SBEJ Special Issue submissions. All papers are subject to the standard referee process of Small Business Economics. Further, guest editors will conditionally accept papers: all conditionally accepted papers will undergo a final review by the Editorial Board; only at that time will papers be formally accepted for publication. Submissions must be original, unpublished works that are not concurrently under review for publication elsewhere. All submissions should conform to the SBEJ manuscript submission guidelines available at