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Liquidity, risk and occupational choices

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Author Info

  • Milo Bianchi

    (UP9 - Université Paris 9, Dauphine - Université Paris IX - Paris Dauphine)

  • Matteo Bobba

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - CNRS : UMR8545 - École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - École normale supérieure [ENS] - Paris - Institut national de la recherche agronomique (INRA), EEP-PSE - Ecole d'Économie de Paris - Paris School of Economics - Ecole d'Économie de Paris)

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    Abstract

    We explore whether financial constraints matter and which financial constraints matter the most in the choice of becoming an entrepreneur. We exploit a randomly assigned welfare program in rural Mexico to show that cash transfers significantly increase entry into entrepreneurship, thereby providing evidence of financial constraints. We then develop a simple model to highlight how liquidity and insurance constraints respond differently to the time profile of expected cash transfers. Exploiting the cross-households variation in the timing of these transfers, we find that current occupational choices are significantly more responsive to the amount of transfers expected for the future than to the amount of transfers currently received. We interpret these findings as evidence that the program has been effective in promoting micro-entrepreneurship by enhancing the willingness to bear risk.

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    File URL: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/docs/00/56/49/18/PDF/wp201029.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HAL in its series Working Papers with number halshs-00564918.

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    Date of creation: Oct 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:halshs-00564918

    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: http://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00564918
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    Related research

    Keywords: financial constraints ; entrepreneurship ; insurance; liquidity;

    References

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    1. Scott Shane, 2009. "Why encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs is bad public policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 33(2), pages 141-149, August.
    2. David J. McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2006. "Do Entry Costs Provide an Empirical Basis for Poverty Traps? Evidence from Mexican Microenterprises," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55, pages 3-42.
    3. Nava Ashraf & Dean S. Karlan & Wesley Yin, 2005. "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines," Working Papers 917, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    4. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Emmanuel Skoufias & Vincenzo Di Maro, 2008. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Adult Work Incentives, and Poverty," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(7), pages 935-960.
    6. Dercon, Stefan & Christiaensen, Luc, 2007. "Consumption risk, technology adoption, and poverty traps : evidence from Ethiopia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4257, The World Bank.
    7. Ray, Debraj, 2007. "Introduction to development theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 137(1), pages 1-10, November.
    8. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    9. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," NBER Working Papers 8952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    11. Gin, Xavier & Yang, Dean, 2009. "Insurance, credit, and technology adoption: Field experimental evidencefrom Malawi," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 1-11, May.
    12. Pascaline Dupas & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008. "What Is Middle Class about the Middle Classes around the World?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 3-28, Spring.
    14. 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.
    15. Jonathan Morduch, 1995. "Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 103-114, Summer.
    16. Zoltan Acs & Laszlo Szerb, 2007. "Entrepreneurship, Economic Growth and Public Policy," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 28(2), pages 109-122, March.
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