Troy C. Blanchard, Charles Tolbert, Carson Mencken; The health and wealth of US counties: how the small business environment impacts alternative measures of development. Cambridge J Regions Econ Soc 2012; 5 (1): 149-162. doi: 10.1093/cjres/rsr034
In this paper, we evaluate the prospects of small business-driven job creation by assessing the link between small business and population health, an alternative measure of economic development. We combine two literatures from the social capital perspective of aggregate community well-being to model the effects of small-business concentration on aggregate measures of population health. We argue that entrepreneurial culture facilitates collective efficacy for a community and provides a problem-solving capacity for addressing local public health problems. Our analysis demonstrates that communities with a greater concentration of small businesses, ceteris paribus, have greater levels of population health. Implications for theory and research are discussed.