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CEP discussion paper
Incubators, accelerators and regional economic development
Margarida Madaleno, Max Nathan, Henry G. Overman and Sevrin Waights
September 2018
Paper No' CEPDP1575:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: L26; O32; R30; R58

Tags: incubators; accelerators; entrepreneurship; clusters; cities; economic development

A growing wave of co-location programmes promises to boost growth for young firms. Despite great public and policy interest we have little idea whether such programmes are effective. This paper categorises accelerators and incubators within a larger family of ‘co-location' interventions. We then develop a single framework to theorise workspace-level impacts. We summarise available evaluation evidence and sketch implications for regional economic policy. We find clear evidence programmes are effective overall. But we know little about how effects operate – or who benefits. Providers and policymakers should experiment further to establish optimal designs.