25 Years IWH

Dr Michael Schwartz

Dr Michael Schwartz
Current Position

since 6/12

Research Affiliate

Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) – Member of the Leibniz Association

since 2012


KfW Bankengruppe

Research Interests

  • Innovation

Dr Michael Schwartz is a researcher in the Economics Department at KfW Bankengruppe.

As an expert in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation processes at micro levels, he mainly cooperates with IWH researchers in the Departments of Structural Change and Urban Economics.

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Dr Michael Schwartz
Dr Michael Schwartz
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Von der Intention zur Gründung - Gründerwettbewerbe in Deutschland

N. Waldmann Michael Schwartz Claus Michelsen

in: List Forum für Wirtschafts- und Finanzpolitik , forthcoming


The number of aspiring entrepreneurs in high-tech industries that succeed in completing the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation is too low in Germany. Responding to this unsatisfactory situation, since the mid 1990s, numerous start-up competitions (or business plan competitions) have been established to stimulate the transition from nascent to real entrepreneurship. Those competitions have too major objectives: Increasing start-up probabilities by mobilizing potential entrepreneurs while simultaneously increasing the probability of start-up success of the prospective start-ups. Despite their importance as (policy) measure to encourage entrepreneurship, a discussion of their effectiveness is missing so far. The present article tries to contribute to the understanding of start-up competitions by providing broad empirical evidence on the development, on the regional distribution and on the most important characteristics of existing start-up competitions in Germany. Further, the article presents and discusses most important empirical results regarding the effectiveness of those start-up competitions (and other important factors as well) to act as a driving force behind the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation in high-technology industries. Finally, we derive conclusions for an agenda of main future research questions.

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Guest Editorial: Which Regions Benefit from Emerging Industries? Guest Editorial

Matthias Brachert U. Cantner H. Graf Jutta Günther Michael Schwartz

in: European Planning Studies , No. 11, 2013

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Industry Concentration and Regional Innovative Performance – Empirical Evidence for Eastern Germany

Christoph Hornych Michael Schwartz

in: Post-Communist Economies , 2009


Regarding technological innovativeness, the transformed economy of the former German Democratic Republic (GDR) clearly lags behind the western part of the country. To face this weakness a broad mixture of policy measures was carried out in recent years. Particular attention is drawn to the development of industry concentrations and economic ‘clusters’. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these policy measures regarding how industry concentrations in fact promote innovative performance in Eastern Germany. The present study tries to fill this gap by analysing the relationship between industry concentration in Eastern Germany and regional innovative performance. Our empirical analysis is based upon the number of patent applications of 22 manufacturing industries in 22 Eastern German planning regions. The estimated regression models indicate an inverted-U relationship between the degree of industry concentration and innovative performance. An exceedingly high degree of industry concentration in one region hampers regional innovative output. We discuss policy implications of our findings and give recommendations for future refinement of ‘cluster’-supporting policy schemes in Eastern Germany.

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Working Papers


A Control Group Study of Incubators’ Impact to Promote Firm Survival

Michael Schwartz

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 11, 2010


It is widely unclear as to whether start-up firms supported by publicly-initiated incubator initiatives have higher survival rates than comparable start-up firms that have not received support by such initiatives. This paper contributes to the underlying discussion by performing an empirical analysis of the long-term survival of 371 incubator firms (after their graduation) from five German incubators and contrasting these results with the long-term survival of a control group of 371 comparable non-incubated firms. The analysis covers a 10-year time span. To account for the problem of selection bias, a non-parametric matching approach is applied to identify an appropriate control group. For neither of the five incubator locations we find statistically significant higher survival probabilities for firms located in incubators compared to firms located outside those incubator organizations. For three incubator locations the analysis even reveals statistically significant lower chances of survival for those start-ups having received support by an incubator. We therefore arrive at the conclusion that being located in an incubator – contrasting the widespread rhetoric of policy actors and incubator stakeholders – does not increase the chances of long-term business survival.

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Informal Networking - An Overview of the Literature and an Agenda for Future Research

Michael Schwartz Christoph Hornych

in: Jenaer Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung: Angewandte Wirtschaftspolitik und Wirtschaftsforschung, (1) , No. 1, 2010


Informal inter-organizational networks provide manifold opportunities to organize the transfer of information, knowledge and technology between actors. Given their potential and their importance, the lack of theoretical discussion and empirical research on informal networks and their dynamics is surprising. The objective of this paper is twofold. It attempts to review the fragmented academic discussion of the notion of informal networking, thereby focusing on how these relationships emerge initially and what conditions (presumably) are required to make them a mutually fruitful and sustainable channel of the transfer of information and knowledge. On that groundwork, the most important empirical studies which try to confirm and disentangle the aforementioned basic mechanisms of informal exchange relationships are reviewed. Finally, we outline an agenda of future research directions that we encourage researchers to pursue in future empirical studies. Five important research gaps can be identified.

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Regional Entrepreneurial Opportunities in the Biotech Industry: Exploring the Transition from Award-winning Nascent Entrepreneurs to Real Start-ups

H. Wolf Claus Michelsen Michael Schwartz

in: IWH Discussion Papers , No. 25, 2010


Knowledge of factors that determine the transition from nascent entrepreneurship into real entrepreneurship is of major importance for policies aiming to effectively stimulate start-ups. Whereas scholars concentrated on person-specific factors to explain transition probabilities, environmental characteristics have been fairly neglected. Given that entrepreneurship is a strongly localized phenomenon, this paper argues that regional entrepreneurial opportunities are a driving force behind the transition from nascent entrepreneurship to new venture creation. Based on unique data on 103 nascent entrepreneurs in the German biotechnology industry, we empirically assess the importance of regional entrepreneurial opportunities on transition probabilities. Further, we introduce a new approach to measure nascent entrepreneurship by capturing individuals that actively participate in start-up competitions and have won at least one competition. Controlling for technology and individual characteristics, we find strong support for our hypotheses relating to the significant impact of general regional opportunities, specific regional opportunities and the entrepreneurial environment for the probability of transition from award-winning nascent entrepreneurs to real start-ups.

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