I am professor and former Chair of Business Dynamics, Innovation, and Economic Change at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany, and a research professor at the Halle Institute for Economics (IWH). I am also Associate Editor of the academic journals “Regional Studies” and “Small Business Economics”.

Ich bin Professor für Volkswirtschaftslehre (Unternehmensentwicklung, Innovation und wirtschaftlichen Wandel) an der Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena sowie Forschungsprofessor am Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH). Weiterhin bin ich Associate Editor der Fachzeitschriften „Regional Studies“ und „Small Business Economics“ tätig.


Presentations and Workshops

August 5, 2019: Busy times! Muhamed Kudic, Andreas Pyka and I are Guest-Editors of the Special Issue „Evolution and Co-Evolution of Regional Innovation Processes“ of Regional Studies. The Special Issue (no. 9, 2019) was published today. There you can find our introduction https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2019.1627306 as well as the article „Historical Roots of Entrepreneurship-facilitating Culture and Innovation Activity―An Analysis for German Regions“ by Martin Obschonka, Michael Wyrwich and myself https://doi.org/10.1080/00343404.2019.1580357.

Abstract: There is a research gap with respect to understanding the role of cultural attitudes in favour of entrepreneurial activity for actual start-up behaviour. We combine historical self-employment data with a psychological measure for entrepreneurial attitudes. The results reveal a positive relationship between the historical level of self-employment in a region and the presence of people with an entrepreneurial personality structure today. This measure is positively related not only to the level of new business formation but also the amount of innovation activity.

August 3, 2019: My paper „Persistence and Change of Regional New Business Formation in the National League Table“ (with Sandra Kublina) is now available as part of a regular issue of the Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Vol. 29, pp. 891-917. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00191-019-00610-5

Abstract: We investigate persistence and change of regional new business formation in West Germany over a period of thirty years. Our indicator is the position of a region in the national ranking. We confirm the role of several sources of this persistence, namely, persistence in regional determinants of new business formation and path dependence in new business formation activity. The results for the role of a distinct regional culture of entrepreneurship are, however, ambiguous. Main factors that are related to changes in the national ranking are the employment share in small businesses, the share of manufacturing employment and a relatively low regional wage level. R&D activities are also conducive for new business formation but become effective only with a time lag.

July 20, 2019: Our study of regional differences of Big Five personality traits of the population in Germany is now published. See Obschonka, Martin, Michael Wyrwich, Michael Fritsch, Samuel D. Gosling, Peter J. Rentfrow and Jeff Potter: Von unterkühlten Norddeutschen, gemütlichen Süddeutschen und aufgeschlossenen Großstädtern: Regionale Persönlichkeitsunterschiede in Deutschland. Psychologische Rundschau, 70, 173-194. https://doi.org/10.1026/0033-3042/a000414

Abstract: The study and explanation of regional personality differences is a central research topic in geographical psychology. Such research on regional “mentalities” can inform, for example, studies examining socioeconomic trajectories of regions and local populations. Whereas existing regional personality research mostly concentrated on regions in the United States and the United Kingdom, the present study delivers results for 97 German regions (Raumordnungsregionen). We analyze and aggregate individual-level data collected in the The Big Five Project study (N = 73,756). We compare regional differences in the Big Five traits between urban versus rural regions, East versus West Germany, and Northern versus Southern Germany. The results indicate that: (a) popular stereotypes (e. g., reserved Northerners, jovial Southerners, and open urbanites) may contain a kernel of truth; (b) systematic migration patterns could drive / maintain regional personality differences; and (c) there is a relatively clear Cologne–Munich line in the regional variation of neuroticism in Germany. Despite the small effect sizes, the present results have new implications for research and practice concerned with the socioeconomic trajectories of German regions.

July 19, 2019: A new Working Paper „Micro Fluidity and Macro Stability in Inventor Networks“ (with Muhamed Kudic). Jena Economic Research Papers #2019-004, Friedrich Schiller University Jena.

Abstract: From a macro perspective, inventor networks are characterized by rather stable structures. However, the high levels of fluidity of inventors and their ties found in reality contradicts this macro pattern. In order to explain these contradicting patterns, we zoom in on the intermediate group structures of co-patenting relationships found among inventors in German laser technology research over a period of 45 years. Our findings suggest that continuity of individual actors is not a key factor in maintaining structural stability of networks. Group level explorations indicate that the successor of an existing key player belonged to the exiting key player’s ego-network, indicating that the group level provides a source of stability and functionality to the system.

July 17, 2019: The paper „Regional Emergence of Start-Ups in Information Technologies: The Role of Knowledge, Skills and Opportunities“ (with Michael Wyrwich) has just been published in a Special Issue of Foresight and STI Governance, Vol. 13, 62-71. It is available in English and in Russian https://doi.org/10.17323/2500-2597.2019.2.62.71

Abstract: We investigate the regional emergence of new businesses in information technologies in Germany. The largest share of these start-ups is located in cities or high-density regions that are well equipped with institutions of higher education and research (HEIs). The empirical analysis clearly indicates the role of industry-specific knowledge for new businesses in information technologies. Hence, strengthening the regional knowledge base should be a key strategy for every policy that aims at stimulating entrepreneurship in this sector