Michael Fritsch

Michael Fritsch

Michael Fritsch is a German economist. He currently holds the Chair of Business Dynamics, Innovation, and Economic Change at the University of Jena.[1]

Fritsch got his master in economics (Diplom-Volkswirt) in 1977, his doctoral degree in economics (Dr. rer. oec.) in 1982 and later his Habilitation in economics in 1989 at the Berlin Institute of Technology.

From 1992-2006 he was Professor of Economics and Chair of the Economic Policy at the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg. Since 2006 he is Professor of Economics at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. In addition he holds the position of Research Professor at the German Institute for Economic Research, Berlin, and Research Professor at the Max Planck Institute of Economics, Jena. Michael Fritsch is an associate editor of Small Business Economics. Michael Fritsch is listed in the ranking of the Handelsblatt for economics.[2]



His research is mainly about topics in the field of entrepreneurship and innovation. The analysis of employment effects of new firms is at the heart of his work. He developed together with David B. Audretsch the conceptual model of regional growth regimes. Thereby, regions are classified in accordance to the level of the regional start-up rate and employment growth.[3] With regard to innovation research, his main focus is on regional innovation systems, the division of innovative labor between different actors, and the efficiency of innovation systems. Michael Fritsch also did significant research on the importance of universities for the regional innovation system in general and the innovative activities of private firms in particular.

One topic of his recent research attracted much interest by the media. It is about the relationship between cultural amenities and economic growth. With his co-authors he shows that those German regions which had an opera house in the baroque era around the year 1800 have nowadays a higher regional growth by as much as 2 percentage points than regions without an opera house in the baroque era. This finding suggests that policy makers should carefully assess whether reducing cultural spending really pays off. [4] This finding was covered by the New York Times and other media.[5] [6]


  • Ökonomische Ansätze zur Legitimation kollektiven Handelns, Duncker & Humblot 1983.
  • Innovation and Technological Change in Eastern Europe, with Horst Brezinski, Edward Elgar 1989.
  • Entrepreneurship in the region, with Jürgen Schmude, Springer 2006.
  • Hochschulen, Innovation, Region - Wissenstransfer im räumlichen Kontext, with Tobias Henning; Viktor Slavtchev; Norbert Steigenberger, Edition Sigma 2007.
  • Marktversagen und Wirtschaftspolitik: Mikroökonomische Grundlagen staatlichen Handelns, 8. Auflage, Franz Vahlen, München, 2011.
  • Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurship and Regional Development: National and Regional Perspectives, Editor, Elgar Publishing, 2011.


  • Regional Differences In New Firm Formation - Evidence From West-Germany, Regional Studies, 1992, 26, 233-241.
  • The Geography of Firm Births In Germany, with David B. Audretsch, Regional Studies, 1994, 28, 359-365.
  • New firms and regional employment change, Small Business Economics, 1997, 9, 437-448.
  • Co-operation in regional innovation systems, Regional Studies, 2001, 35, 297-307.
  • Who cooperates on R&D?, with Rolf Lukas, Research Policy, 2001, 30, 297-312.
  • Growth regimes over time and space, with David B. Audretsch, Regional Studies, 2002, 36, 113-124.
  • Cooperation and the efficiency of regional R&D activities, Cambridge Journal Of Economics, 2004, 28, 829-846.
  • Effects of new business formation on regional development over time, with Pamela Mueller, Regional Studies, 2004, 38, 961-975.
  • Entrepreneurship, entry and performance of new business compared in two growth regimes: East and West Germany, Journal of Evolutionary Economics, 2004, 14, 525-542.
  • Innovation, regional knowledge spillovers and R&D cooperation, with Grit Franke, Research Policy, 2004, 33, 245-255.


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