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Media Contacts

David Audretsch
Institute for Development Strategies

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Joseph Belth
Professor Emeritus of Insurance

Vincent Thompson
Indiana Business Research Center

Market Line

Business and economic news from Indiana University

EDITORS: Contact information for expert sources is included. If you would like photos or further information on any of these story ideas, contact George Vlahakis of IU Media Relations at 812-855-0846 or

As policy makers strive to create the next Silicon Valley or a BioCrossroads, a new paper by a professor in IU's School of Public and Environmental Affairs supports their view that there is a link between entrepreneurship and economic growth. In an article in Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, David Audretsch, director of the Institute for Development Strategies at IU, concluded, "Public policies promoting entrepreneurship would be expected to have a positive impact on economic performance." However, they will involve a new factor he called entrepreneurship capital, which differs from other recognized forms of capital investment in new business. It "involves a number of aspects such as social acceptance of entrepreneurship behavior, but of course also individuals who are willing to deal with risk of creating new firms, and the activity of bankers and venture capital agents who are willing to share risks and benefits involved," Audretsch wrote with co-author Max Keilbach of the Max Planck Institute for Research into Economic Systems (Germany). "Entrepreneurship capital reflects a number of different legal, institutional and social factors and forces. Taken together, these factors and forces constitute the entrepreneurship capital of an economy, which creates a capacity for entrepreneurial activity." Audretsch, also the Ameritech chair of economic development at IU, said it manifests itself by the creation of new firms. He and Keilback used per-capita income data from Germany to study the relationships between different measures of entrepreneurship capital, regional economic growth and productivity. Audretsch can be reached at 812-855-6766 or

Financial strength is the most important factor a consumer should consider in selecting a company from which to buy insurance, said Joseph Belth, professor emeritus of insurance in the Kelley School of Business and editor of The Insurance Forum, an industry newsletter which again has published a ratings list and a watch list of insurance companies. Belth has published special ratings issues since 1991, and the September issue includes ratings assigned to insurance companies by A.M. Best, Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's. The issue contains a list of 302 financially strong companies suggested for consumers who are conservative with regard to financial strength. In addition to ratings of more than 1,200 life-health companies, the ratings issue of The Insurance Forum includes ratings of almost 300 large property-liability insurance companies. In the October issue, Belth raises concerns about the under-pricing of universal life insurance policies, which are offered with no-lapse guarantees and promoted to charities. "I think there are strategies companies can use to extricate themselves from the commitments in aggressively priced universal life polices with no-lapse guarantees. I also think highly paid consultants will devise strategies to accomplish this objective," Belth said. "Unfortunately, the use of the strategies will operate to the detriment of policyholders who thought they were buying guaranteed lifetime insurance protection." Belth can be reached at 812-876-6502 or through the publication's Web site at Complimentary copies of The Insurance Forum are available to reporters by calling 812-876-6502.

In light of export figures which demonstrate Indiana's competitive performance in selling products abroad, Indiana's reliance on manufacturing is not as problematic as some recently have thought, according to Vincent Thompson, an economic analyst in the Kelley School's Indiana Business Research Center. "This is quite a bright spot for our manufacturing sector, especially when you consider the sizable increases we've observed in recent years," Thompson said. "We had the fourth-largest increase from 1999 to 2003." Thompson, writing in the new issue of IN Context, found that Indiana and most of its neighboring states continue to show an emphasis on the automobile manufacturing industry in their top three exports. Four of Indiana's top 10 exports were connected to its growing life sciences industries. Basing his research on data from the Census Bureau's Origin of Movement state export series, Thompson found that Midwestern states are competing well globally. June 2004 year-to-date figures revealed Michigan ranked fourth in the nation, followed by Ohio at sixth; Illinois, seventh; Indiana, 11th; Kentucky, 19th; and Wisconsin, 20th. Thompson can be reached at 812-855-7472 or IN Context is published by the IBRC in partnership with the Indiana Department of Commerce and can be read online at

Upcoming economic events (with recommended IU expert):

Thursday, Oct. 14 -- 19th annual IU Real Estate Conference, Indianapolis Marriott Hotel, 350 W. Maryland, Indianapolis (Jeffrey Fisher, director of the IU Center for Real Estate Studies, 812-855-7794,

Friday, Oct. 15 -- Release of employment statistics by industry for Indiana and Indiana MSAs for August by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center, 812-855-5507,

Friday, Oct. 29 -- Third quarter gross domestic product advance estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (Bill Witte, IU associate professor of economics and a director of the IU Center for Econometric Model Research, 812-855-2080,

Friday, Oct. 29 -- Release of September labor force estimates for Indiana counties and MSAs by the Indiana Department of Workforce Development (Jerry Conover, director of the Indiana Business Research Center, 812-855-5507,

Thursday, Nov. 4 -- IU Business Outlook Panel tour begins with breakfast presentation at the Capitol Ballroom of the Westin Indianapolis Hotel, 50 S. Capitol Ave., in Indianapolis, followed by a tour of nine other Indiana cities (George Vlahakis, IU Media Relations, 812-855-0846,

Some useful online IU resources for business reporters:

Stats Indiana -- An information service of the Indiana Business Research Center that is a constantly updated repository of data on the economy, population and the workforce. Features include comparative profiles of U.S. counties and states, and maps. It is located at

Center for Urban Policy and the Environment -- A topical and wide-ranging resource of research and other information about policy issues, such as those involving land use, economic development and non-profit, located at IUPUI's School of Public and Environmental Affairs and online at