This paper is an introduction to the special issue from the 3rd Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Research Conference held in Washington, D.C., in 2008. The paper has three objectives. First, to discuss the importance of the three stages of economic development, the factor-driven stage, the efficiency-driven stage and the innovation-driven stage. Second, to examine the empirical evidence on the relationship between stages of economic development and entrepreneurship. Third, to present a summary of the papers in the context of the theory.