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Historical Prevalence of Infectious Diseases and Entrepreneurship: the Role of Institutions in 125 Countries

Omang Messono () and Simplice Asongu
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Omang Messono: University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon

No 21/096, Working Papers from European Xtramile Centre of African Studies (EXCAS)

Abstract: This study examines the effects of the historical prevalence of infectious diseases on contemporary entrepreneurship. Previous studies reveal the persistence of the effects of historical diseases on innovation, through the channel of culture. Drawing on the epidemiological origin of institutions, we propose a framework which argues that the impact of infectious disease prevalence on contemporary entrepreneurship is mediated by property rights. The central hypothesis posits that a guarantee of property rights reduces the effect of past diseases on entrepreneurship. Using data from 125 countries, we find strong and robust evidence on the proposed hypothesis and other results. Property rights are higher in countries where the prevalence of diseases was low, which leads to good entrepreneurship scores. In contrast, countries with high disease prevalence did not have time to develop strong institutions to secure property rights. This explains their low level of entrepreneurship today. These results are robust to alternative methods and measures of property rights. Furthermore, our results also confirm the level of development, culture and the digitalization of economies as transmission channels between past diseases and the current level of entrepreneurship.

Keywords: entrepreneurship; institutions; diseases; property rights (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I0 I21 I31 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34
Date: 2021-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ent, nep-evo, nep-gro, nep-his and nep-pay
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http://publications.excas.org/RePEc/exs/exs-wpaper ... Entrepreneurship.pdf Revised version, 2021 (application/pdf)

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Working Paper: Historical Prevalence of Infectious Diseases and Entrepreneurship: the Role of Institutions in 125 Countries (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Historical Prevalence of Infectious Diseases and Entrepreneurship: the Role of Institutions in 125 Countries (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: Historical Prevalence of Infectious Diseases and Entrepreneurship: the Role of Institutions in 125 Countries (2021) Downloads
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