Declining business dynamism in Belgium

Gert Bijnens, Jozef Konings

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Using 30 years of data from all for-profit firms incorporated in Belgium, we show that business dynamism and entrepreneurship have been declining over recent decades. This decline set in around the year 2000 following a decade of declining start-up rates. We also observe a decreasing share of young firms that become high-growth firms and more importantly a declining propensity for small (not necessarily young) firms to experience fast growth. Interestingly, a similar decline in business dynamism occurred in the USA, where firms face a far less rigid institutional environment than in Belgium. These remarkable similarities suggest that global trends rather than country-specific changes are at the basis of this evolution. We show evidence that points to the role of ICT intensity in explaining the secular decline in business dynamism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1239
Number of pages39
JournalSmall Business Economics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2020


  • Business dynamism
  • Entry
  • Firm dynamics
  • Firm growth
  • High-growth firms
  • High-impact firms
  • Reallocation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Business,Management and Accounting
  • Economics and Econometrics


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