On the location of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship in developing countries: lessons from São Paulo, Brazil
This article empirically appraises the geographical distribution of knowledge-intensive entrepreneurship (KIE) in the settings of an emerging economy. We start from the typical agglomeration approach and then introduce a set of variables related to local market conditions, distance from the economic hub, and knowledge & innovation system to explain KIE location and density on the basis of city-level data in the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Findings indicate KIE concentration in and around a few urban areas, providing support to agglomeration economies concepts. There is strong evidence that the local presence of research-oriented universities, access to capital, and business concentration are correlated to KIE emergence and density. Results also indicate the moderating effect of agglomeration diseconomies mainly related to factors of rapid and anarchic expansion of urban centers and the consequences of extreme inequalities in income distribution. This challenges the usability of concepts of entrepreneurial ecosystems from advanced economies if not adapted to the realities of developing countries.