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Adverse Selection and Risk Aversion in Capital Markets

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  • Luis H. B. Braido
  • Carlos E. da Costa
  • Bev Dahlby

Abstract

We generalize Boadway and Keen's model of adverse selection in capital markets to allow for risk aversion on the part of entrepreneurs. We use the new model to analyze two types of policies. We first consider policies that would allow entrepreneurs to use a greater fraction of their total wealth in financing their projects, thus allowing them to reduce reliance on debt or equity finance by outside investors. We show that such policies may not be welfare-improving, because they expose entrepreneurs to more downside risk. This result highlights the importance of allowing for risk aversion, since policies that aim at alleviating inefficiencies associated with adverse selection may increase risk exposure and ultimately reduce welfare. We then consider how the tax treatment of losses affects social welfare. We show that if a society places a high value on distributional equity or if entrepreneurs are sufficiently risk-averse, a full-loss-offset system may be desirable even when there is excessive investment.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen in its journal FinanzArchiv.

Volume (Year): 67 (2011)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 303-326

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Handle: RePEc:mhr:finarc:urn:sici:0015-2218(291112)67:4_303:asarai_2.0.tx_2-h

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Keywords: adverse selection; debt; equity; tax policy;

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References

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  1. Fuest, Clemens & Tillessen, Philipp, 2005. "Why do governments use closed ended subsidies to support entrepreneurial investment?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 24-30, October.
  2. Esteban Jaimovich, 2008. "Adverse Selection and Entrepreneurship in a Model of Development," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 78, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  3. Hellmann, Thomas & Stiglitz, Joseph, 2000. "Credit and equity rationing in markets with adverse selection," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 281-304, February.
  4. de Meza, David & Webb, David C, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-92, May.
  5. Hugo A. Hopenhayn & Galina Vereshchagina, 2003. "Risk Taking by Entrepreneurs," RCER Working Papers 500, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  6. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 2006. "Financing and Taxing New Firms under Asymmetric Information," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 471-502, December.
  7. Clemens Fuest & Bernd Huber & Philipp Tillessen, 2003. "Tax Policy and Entrepreneurship in the Presence of Asymmetric Information in Capital Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 872, CESifo Group Munich.
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Cited by:
  1. Mark Parsons, 2011. "Rewarding Innovation: Improving Federal Tax Support for Business R&D in Canada," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 334, September.

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