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ABSTRACT. There is a great deal of spatial variation in the rate of microenterprises across rural counties in the U.S. We study factors associated with this spatial variation using county level data. The study uses a regional model, establishment counts from County Business Patterns data that have 1-4 employees and Non-employer data, and incorporates a comprehensive county-level set of determinants. We find that availability of financial resources and social capital, regional labor market conditions, size of the county economy, median age, married households, ethnic minorities, public expenditure and taxes, and natural amenities are significant in explaining why some counties have more microenterprises than others. pp. 17–31

Keywords: entrepreneurship; mircoenterprises; rural counties; small business; spatial effects

Anil Rupasingha
USDA Economic Research Service
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Sergio Contreras
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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