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Human Capital and the Private Equity Premium

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  • Valery Polkovnichenko

    (University of Minnesota)

Abstract

When capital market is imperfect, an entrepreneur has to invest substantial personal funds to start a firm and has to bear large firm-specific risk. Furthermore, if a typical entrepreneur is risk averse, private equity should earn a premium for idiosyncratic risk. In this paper I explore the interaction of human capital with the decision to become an entrepreneur. I calibrate a model of entrepreneurial choice to illustrate a significant attenuating effect of human capital on the premium for firm-specific risk. When an entrepreneur can quit the business and work for hire, the firm-specific risk premium is order of magnitude lower than without this option. While an entrepreneur puts at risk a substantial fraction of financial wealth, she does not commit all human capital to the current business. At stake is only the labor income forgone while managing the firm and the rest of human capital is unaffected by the business risk. Empirical evidence suggests that private equity does not earn any significant premium over publicly traded equity. The model with human capital is consistent with this observation, assuming typical entrepreneur forgoes a small expected return (1.5%) in lieu of intangible benefits of entrepreneurship. (Copyright: Elsevier)

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1094-2025(03)00051-6
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics in its journal Review of Economic Dynamics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 831-845

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Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:6:y:2003:i:4:p:831-845

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References

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  1. Telmer, Chris I, 1993. " Asset-Pricing Puzzles and Incomplete Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1803-32, December.
  2. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 2000. "Portfolio Choice and Asset Prices: The Importance of Entrepreneurial Risk," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(3), pages 1163-1198, 06.
  3. Orazio P. Attanasio & James Banks & Sarah Tanner, 2002. "Asset Holding and Consumption Volatility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 771-792, August.
  4. William M. Gentry & R. Glenn Hubbard, 2000. "Entrepreneurship and Household Saving," NBER Working Papers 7894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Zvi Bodie & Robert C. Merton & William F. Samuelson, 1992. "Labor Supply Flexibility and Portfolio Choice in a Life-Cycle Model," NBER Working Papers 3954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Lucas, Deborah J., 1994. "Asset pricing with undiversifiable income risk and short sales constraints: Deepening the equity premium puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 325-341, December.
  7. Barton H. Hamilton, 2000. "Does Entrepreneurship Pay? An Empirical Analysis of the Returns to Self-Employment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 604-631, June.
  8. John Heaton & Deborah Lucas, 1993. "Evaluating the Effects of Incomplete Markets on Risk Sharing and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 4249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
  10. Vincenzo Quadrini, 2000. "Entrepreneurship, Saving and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 3(1), pages 1-40, January.
  11. João Cocco & Francisco Gomes & Pascal Maenhout, 1998. "Consumption and Portfolio Choice over the Life-Cycle," Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers ces9805, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën.
  12. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Heaton, John & Lucas, Deborah, 1997. "Market Frictions, Savings Behavior, And Portfolio Choice," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 76-101, January.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Galina Vereshchagina & Hugo A. Hopenhayn, 2009. "Risk Taking by Entrepreneurs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1808-30, December.
  2. Akyol, Ahmet & Athreya, Kartik, 2011. "Credit and self-employment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 363-385, March.
  3. Wharton School & Nikolai Roussanov, 2008. "Diversification and its Discontents: Idiosyncratic and Entrepreneurial Risk in the Quest for Social Status," 2008 Meeting Papers 924, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Jason DeBacker & Bradley Heim & Vasia Panousi & Shanthi Ramnath & Ivan Vidangos, 2012. "The properties of income risk in privately held businesses," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Claudio Campanale, 2006. "Leraning, life-cycle and entrepreneurial investment," Working Papers. Serie AD 2006-29, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
  6. Hintermaier, Thomas & Steinberger, Thomas, 2002. "Occupational Choice and the Private Equity Premium Puzzle," Economics Series 122, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  7. Roessler, Christian & Koellinger, Philipp, 2012. "Entrepreneurship and organization design," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 888-902.
  8. Ander Pérez Orive, 2010. "Credit constraints, firms' precautionary investment and the business cycle," Economics Working Papers 1237, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2012.
  9. Ander Pérez Orive, 2010. "Credit Constraints, Firms' Precautionary Investment, and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 506, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  10. Fossen, Frank M., 2012. "Risk attitudes and private business equity," Discussion Papers 2012/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
  11. Kartik Athreya & Ahmet Akyol, 2007. "Unsecured Credit and Self-Employment," 2007 Meeting Papers 49, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Simon Parker & Mirjam van Praag, 2004. "Schooling, Capital Constraints and Entrepreneurial Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 04-106/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 07 Mar 2005.
  13. Christian Roessler & Philipp Koellinger, 2009. "Firm Formation with Complementarities: The Role of the Entrepreneur," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 09-003/3, Tinbergen Institute, revised 26 Jul 2011.
  14. Ahmet Akyol & Kartik Athreya, 2009. "Self-employment rates and business size: the roles of occupational choice and credit market frictions," Annals of Finance, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 495-519, June.

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