Prof. Dr. Wim Naudé


Prof. Dr.

Wim Naudé

University College Cork & RWTH TIM Institute

Affiliated Professors - Visiting Professor


RWTH Aachen TIM,
Kackertstraße 7
52072 Aachen


Wim Naudé is affiliated with TIME at RWTH Aachen as Visiting Professor of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Development. He is also a full professor of Economics at Cork University Business School, University College Cork in Ireland, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, Fellow of the Africa Study Centre at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, Research Fellow at the IZA Institute of Labor Economics, Germany.

Currently he is working on three interrelated topics: the impacts of artificial intelligence on business, innovation, economic growth and security; the decline in business dynamism in the West; and the consequences of the 4th Industrial Revolution for inclusive and sustainable development, including for catch-up growth in Africa and the circular economy. At RWTH Aachen he contributes to the university’s research agenda on these topics and teaches the module “Technology for a Sustainable Tomorrow” in the full time MBA of RWTH Business School.

Wim has contributed to the work of virtually all global development organizations, most recently to the United Nations’ 2020 World Youth Report on youth social entrepreneurship, the World Trade Organization’s 2018 World Trade Report on how digital technologies are transforming global commerce, and UNIDO's 2016 flagship report on sustainable industrialization. He is moreover a contributor to the OECD’s AI Observatory, and has co-directed a research project for the Volkswagen Stiftung’s Artificial Intelligence and the Society of the Future program.

According to IDEAS/RePEC Wim is ranked amongst the top 20 economists globally in the field of Big Data, and top 40 globally in the field of entrepreneurship.

Research interests

  • Technology, data, and the grand global challenges: climate, inclusivity, security, transitions.
  • Artificial intelligence, digital business models and data-driven entrepreneurship.
  • The decline in business dynamism in the West.
  • Industrialization and the consequences of the 4IR for Africa.

Selected Recent Publications

  1. Artificial Intelligence: Neither Utopian nor Apocalyptic Impacts Soon, Economics of Innovation and New Technology, 2021, 30(1): 1-23.
  2. Data Deprivations, Data Gaps and Digital Divides: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic, Big Data & Society, 2021, (in press, forthcoming).
  3. Extreme Events, Entrepreneurial Start-Ups, and Innovation: Theoretical Conjectures, Economics of Disasters & Climate Change, 2021, 10 July,
  4. Digital Entrepreneurship (In W.J. Liebregts, W.J.A.M. van den Heuvel and J.A. van den Born (eds). 2021. Data Science for Entrepreneurship. Heidelberg: Springer).
  5. The Rise and Fall of German Innovation, IZA Discussion Paper no. 14154, IZA Institute of Labor Economics, 2021.
  6. Intelligente Eindämmungsstrategien gegen COVID-19: Die Rolle von KI und großen Daten, Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, 2020, May,
  7. Artificial Intelligence vs COVID-19: Limitations, Constraints and Pitfalls, AI & Society, 2020, 35 (3): 761-765.
  8. The Race for an Artificial General Intelligence: Implications for Public Policy, AI & Society, 2020, 35 (2),
  9. Reorienting Entrepreneurial Support Infrastructure to Tackle a Social Crisis: A Rapid Response, Journal of Business Venturing Insights, 2020, vol 14, Nov,
  10. Refugee Entrepreneurship: Context and Directions for Future Research, Small Business Economics, 2020, March,
  11. How do Role Conflict Intensity and Coping Strategies affect the Success of Women Entrepreneurs in Africa? Evidence from Ethiopia, Journal of Small Business Management, 2020, https://10.1080/00472778.2020.1756121
  12. Brilliant Technologies and Brave Entrepreneurs: A New Narrative for Africa Manufacturing, Journal of International Affairs, 2019, 72 (1): 143-158. https://doi:10.2307/26588350
  13. Hessels, J. and Naudé, W. (2019). The Intersection of the Fields of Entrepreneurship and Development Economics: A Review Towards a New View, Journal of Economic Surveys, 33(2): 389-403.
  14. Ready for Industry 4.0? The Case of Central and Eastern Europe, In: Dastbaz, M. and Cochrane, P. (eds), Industry 4.0 and Engineering for the Future, Springer, Heidelberg, Chapter 9.
  15. Naudé, W. and Nagler, P. (2018). Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Productivity in Germany, 1871-2015, SPRU Working Paper Series 2018-02, SPRU-Science Policy Research Unit, University of Sussex Business School.
  16. Migration, Entrepreneurship and Development: Critical Questions, IZA Journal of Migration, 2017, 6:5,
  17. Non-Farm Enterprises in Rural Sub-Saharan Africa: New Empirical Evidence, Food Policy, 2017, 67: 175-19,
  18. Spatial Proximity and Firm Performance: Evidence from Non-Farm Rural Enterprises in Ethiopia and Nigeria, Regional Studies, 2016, 51(5): 688-700, https://10.1080/00343404.2015.1131896
  19. The Entrepreneurship Beveridge Curve, International Journal of Economic Theory, 2016, 12(1): 151- 165,
  20. Public-Private Entanglement:Entrepreneurship in Lebanon's Hybrid Political Order, Journal of Development Studies, 2016, 52 (2): 254-268,
  21. Inclusive Industrialization and Entrepreneurship, Development, 2015, 58 (4): 500-510,
  22. Playing the Lottery or Dressing Up? A Model of Firm-Level Heterogeneity and the Decision to Export, Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, 2015, 58 : 1-17,
  23. Surfeiting, the Appetite May Sicken': Entrepreneurship and Happiness, Small Business Economics Journal, 2014, 42 (1): 523-540,
  24. Business under Fire: Entrepreneurship and Violent Conflict in Developing Countries, Journal of Conflict Resolution, 2013, February Vol. 57: 3-19,
  25. Entrepreneurship and Human Development: A Capability Approach, Journal of Public Economics, 2011, 95 (3): 216-224,
  26. Entrepreneurship is not a Binding Constraint on Growth and Development in the Poorest Countries, World Development, 2011, 39 (1): 33-44,
  27. The Impact of Transport Costs on New Venture Internationalization, Journal of International Entrepreneurship, 2011, 9:62-89,
  28. Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and a Global Economic Crisis, Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 2011, volume 1, issue 3, article 4,
  29. Climate Change and Industrial Policy, Sustainability, 2011, 3 (7): 1003-1021,
  30. Export Diversication and Economic Performance: Evidence from Brazil, China, India and South Africa, Economic Change and Restructuring, 2011, 44: 99-134,
  31. Export Specialization and Local Economic Growth, The World Economy, 2010, 33 (4): 552-572,
  32. What do We Know About the Patterns and Determinants of Female Entrepreneurship Across Countries? The European Journal of Development Research, 2010, 22 (3): 277-293,
  33. Entrepreneurship, Developing Countries and Development Economics: New Approaches and Insights, Small Business Economics Journal, 2010, 34 (1): 1-12.
  34. Entrepreneurship and Structural Economic Transformation, Small Business Economics Journal, 2010, 34 (1): 13-29,