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Risk-bearing and Entrepreneurship

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  • Newman, Andrew

Abstract

In the 'Knightian' theory of entrepreneurship, entrepreneurs provide insurance to workers by paying fixed wages and bear all the risk of production. This paper endogenizes entrepreneurial risk by allowing for optimal insurance contracts as well as the occupational self-selection. Moral hazard prevents full insurance; increases in an agent’s wealth then entail increases in risk borne. Thus, even under decreasing risk aversion, there are robust instances in which workers are wealthier than entrepreneurs. This empirically implausible result suggests that risk-based explanations for entrepreneurship are inadequate.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 6021.

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Date of creation: Jan 2007
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:6021

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Keywords: moral hazard; occupational choice; principal-agent model;

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References

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  1. Patrick Bolton & Mathias Dewatripont, 2005. "Contract Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262025760, December.
  2. Jewitt, Ian, 1988. "Justifying the First-Order Approach to Principal-Agent Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(5), pages 1177-90, September.
  3. Daniel A. Ackerberg & Maristella Botticini, 1999. "Endogenous Matching and the Empirical Determinants of Contract Form," Papers 0096, Boston University - Industry Studies Programme.
  4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  5. Robert Townsend, 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Staff Report 45, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Morduch, Jonathan, 1994. "Poverty and Vulnerability," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 221-25, May.
  7. Brian Wu & Anne Marie Knott, 2006. "Entrepreneurial Risk and Market Entry," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(9), pages 1315-1330, September.
  8. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
  9. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, Ivan, 1989. "Optimal Auditing, Insurance, and Redistribution," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 399-415, May.
  10. Rogerson, William P, 1985. "Repeated Moral Hazard," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 69-76, January.
  11. Mas-Colell, Andreu & Whinston, Michael D. & Green, Jerry R., 1995. "Microeconomic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195102680, October.
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  13. Dixit, Avinash, 1989. "Trade and Insurance with Imperfectly Observed Outcomes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 195-203, February.
  14. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Trade and Insurance with Adverse Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 235-47, April.
  15. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:177-242 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Kim, Son Ku, 1995. "Efficiency of an Information System in an Agency Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 89-102, January.
  17. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  18. Edward P. Lazear, 2005. "Entrepreneurship," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 649-680, October.
  19. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1994. "Poverty, Incentives, and Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(2), pages 211-15, May.
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