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What Makes an Entrepreneur? Evidence on Inheritance and Capital Constraints

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  • David Blanchflower
  • Andrew J. Oswald

Abstract

The paper studies the factors which shape entrepreneurship among young adults. It finds, using data on a British birth cohort, that the probability of self-employment depends sensitively upon whether the individual ever received a gift or inheritance. Those who were given or inherited £5,000, for example, were approximately twice as likely, ceteris paribus, to set up in business. This is consistent with, and a new test of, recent results from the US stressing the importance of capital and liquidity constraints. The paper also evaluates a number of hypotheses suggested in the literature on small businesses.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w3252.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 3252.

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Date of creation: Feb 1990
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Publication status: published as Blanchflower, David G. and Andrew J. Oswald. "What Makes An Entrepreneur?," Journal of Labor Economics, 1998, v16(1,Jan), 26-60.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3252

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References

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  1. Kanbur, S M Ravi, 1982. "Entrepreneurial Risk Taking, Inequality, and Public Policy: An Application of Inequality Decomposition Analysis to the General Equilibrium Effects of Progressive Taxation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 1-21, February.
  2. Blau, David M, 1987. "A Time-Series Analysis of Self-employment in the United State," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(3), pages 445-67, June.
  3. George J. Borjas, 1986. "The Self-Employment Experience of Immigrants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 21(4), pages 485-506.
  4. George J. Borjas & Stephen G. Bronars, 1988. "Consumer Discrimination and Self-Employment," NBER Working Papers 2627, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Evans, David S & Leighton, Linda S, 1989. "Some Empirical Aspects of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 519-35, June.
  6. Micklewright, John, 1989. "Choice at Sixteen," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 25-39, February.
  7. Connolly, Sara & Micklewright, John & Nickell, Stephen, 1992. "The Occupational Success of Young Men Who Left School at Sixteen," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 460-79, July.
  8. David Blanchflower & A Oswald, 1993. "Entrepreneurship," CEP Discussion Papers dp0134, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Self-Employment and Labor Force Participation of Older Males," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 17(3), pages 339-357.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giuliano Guerra & Roberto Patuelli, 2010. "The Influence of Role Models on Immigrant Self-Employment: A Spatial Analysis for Switzerland," Working Paper Series 29_10, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2012.
  2. Mesnard, Alice & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Is inequality bad for business : a non-linear microeconomic model of wealth effects on self-employment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2527, The World Bank.
  3. Henrekson, Magnus & Johansson, Dan, 1998. "Institutional Effects on the Evolution of the Size Distribution of Firms," Working Paper Series 497, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  4. John Armour, 2006. "Legal capital: an outdated concept," ESRC Centre for Business Research - Working Papers wp320, ESRC Centre for Business Research.
  5. Mesnard, Alice & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "Wealth Distribution and Self-Employment in a Developing Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3026, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Goedhuys, Micheline, 2002. "Employment creation and employment quality in African manufacturing firms," ILO Working Papers 357068, International Labour Organization.
  7. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1996. "Self-Employment and Windfall Gains: Evidence from the Swedish Lottery," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(439), pages 1515-26, November.
  8. John Armour & Douglas Cumming, 2008. "Bankruptcy Law and Entrepreneurship," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 303-350.
  9. Burke, Andrew E & FitzRoy, Felix R & Nolan, Michael A, 2000. " When Less Is More: Distinguishing between Entrepreneurial Choice and Performance," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(5), pages 565-87, December.
  10. Lindh, Thomas & Ohlsson, Henry, 1998. "Self-Employment and Wealth Inequality," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(1), pages 25-42, March.

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