Despite the popular myth of the American entrepreneur, America is not a small business country. As the Center for Economic and Policy Research noted in 2009:
By every measure of small-business employment, the United States has among the world’s smallest small-business sectors (as a proportion of total national employment).
Not much has changed since then. When compared to other advanced economies, the US doesn’t look that much more entrepreneurial than anywhere else.
America has a relatively low number of self-employed people and their numbers have fallen in recent years (...)
Compared to other developed countries, the US has relatively few people employed by small companies. (...)
America’s business start-up rate is lower than that of many OECD countries and has also fallen in recent years. (...)
The percentage of American startups with innovative products is fair-to-middling.
Are US startups making products the rest of the world wants to buy? Again, not really. The internationally trading startups are more likely to come from Europe. (...)
Whatever is behind the high productivity of the US economy, it doesn’t seem to be due to the quality or quantity of its small firms. There is almost no measure on which America’s small business sector stands out from those of other advanced countries. (...)
Uma coisa que me ocorre é que a tendência para associar os EUA ao "individualismo", "empreendedorismo" e afins é algo que, no fundo, também é relativamente recente - se pegarmos em livros escritos nos anos 50/60/70, a tendência era para apresentar os EUA (em contraponto com a Europa) como a terra das grandes empresas, do "consumo de massas", do "homem da organização", do "conformismo", etc. (eu uma vez folhei o "Confiança" de Fukuyama numa livraria e creio que ele até referia isso, penso que para ilustrar a sua tese de que o fazia os países enriquecer era exatamente a capacidade de os individuos cooperarem em organizações maiores que a família).