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Wealth, Enterprise and Credit Policy


  • de Meza, David
  • Webb, David


Empirical evidence suggests that capital-market constraints prevent low-wealth individuals from setting up in business. This paper shows this finding to be consistent with socially excessive lending and an interest-rate tax being welfare-improving. One feature of the model, banks' inability to identify entrepreneurial quality, leads to excessive bank lending and investment in low-return projects. The reduction in the probability of bankruptcy lowers the cost of borrowing and eliminates deadweight costs and hence promotes entry. If the incentive effects are sufficiently large, wealth and the volume of entrepreneurial activity move together. A key result of the paper is to show that a market equilibrium in which there is a positive relationship between entry and the level of wealth is consistent with either subsidies to inactivity or taxes on interest raising welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • de Meza, David & Webb, David, 1999. "Wealth, Enterprise and Credit Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(455), pages 153-163, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:109:y:1999:i:455:p:153-63

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    2. Lawrence F. Katz & Alan B. Krueger, 1992. "The Effect of the Minimum Wage on the Fast-Food Industry," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 6-21, October.
    3. Stephen Machin & Alan Manning, 1992. "Minimum Wages," CEP Discussion Papers dp0080, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    4. David Card, 1992. "Using Regional Variation in Wages to Measure the Effects of the Federal Minimum Wage," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(1), pages 22-37, October.
    5. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1997. "A Reanalysis of the Effect of the New Jersey Minimum Wage Increase on the Fast-Food Industry with Representative Payroll Data," Working Papers 772, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
    7. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1993. "Employment effects of minimum and subminimum wages: reply to Card, Katz, and Krueger," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 144, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    9. Alan Manning, 1995. "How Do We Know That Real Wages Are Too High?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1111-1125.
    10. Rebitzer, James B. & Taylor, Lowell J., 1995. "The consequences of minimum wage laws Some new theoretical ideas," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 245-255, February.
    11. William M. Boal & Michael R. Ransom, 1997. "Monopsony in the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 86-112, March.
    12. David Neumark & William Wascher, 1995. "The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-Food Employment: A Re-Evaluation Using Payroll Records," NBER Working Papers 5224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. repec:fth:prinin:300 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Alan B. Krueger, 1991. "Ownership, Agency, and Wages: An Examination of Franchising in the Fast Food Industry," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(1), pages 75-101.
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