Discussion paper

DP18532 Do Narratives about the American Dream Rally Local Entrepreneurship?

We assess the association between the local telling of the American Dream story and local entrepreneurship. We use textual analysis on articles related to the American Dream that were published in local newspapers and assess how more positive telling of the story associates with local entrepreneurial dynamism. We find that telling the story spurs local entrepreneurship, in total number and per capita. A one standard deviation more in articles boasts entrepreneurship by half a standard deviation, and their positivity boosts this effect. A positive tone also affects the choice of the type of startup.


Mishra, M, J Fu and S Ongena (2023), ‘DP18532 Do Narratives about the American Dream Rally Local Entrepreneurship?‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 18532. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp18532