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Entrepreneurship and asymmetric information in input markets

  • Robin Boadway


  • Motohiro Sato

Entrepreneurs starting new firms face two sorts of asymmetric information problems. Information about the quality of new investments may be private, leading to adverse selection in credit markets. And, entrepreneurs may not observe the quality of workers applying for jobs, resulting in adverse selection in labor markets. We construct a simple model to illustrate some consequences of new firms facing both sorts of asymmetric information. Multiple equilibria can occur. Stable equilibria can be in the interior, or at a corner in which no entrepreneurs enter. Stable interior equilibria can involve involuntary unemployment, as well as credit rationing. Equilibrium outcomes mismatch workers to firms, and will generally result in an inefficient number of new firms. With involuntary unemployment, there will be too few new firms, but with full employment, there may be too many or too few. Taxes or subsidies on new firms and employment can be used to achieve a second-best optimum. Alternative information assumptions are explored.

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Article provided by Springer & International Institute of Public Finance in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 18 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 166-192

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:18:y:2011:i:2:p:166-192
DOI: 10.1007/s10797-010-9154-8
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  1. Kanbur, S. M., 1981. "Risk taking and taxation : An alternative perspective," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 163-184, April.
  2. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  3. Robin Boadway & Jean-François Tremblay, 2003. "Public Economics and Startup Entrepreneurs," CESifo Working Paper Series 877, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicolás S., 1945-, 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Working papers 1523-84., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-38, June.
  6. Robin Boadway & Michael Keen, 2006. "Financing and Taxing New Firms under Asymmetric Information," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 62(4), pages 471-502, December.
  7. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2000. "Tax Policy, Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship," CEPR Discussion Papers 2626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Peter A. Diamond, 1982. "Wage Determination and Efficiency in Search Equilibrium," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 217-227.
  9. David de Meza & David C. Webb, 1987. "Too Much Investment: A Problem of Asymmetric Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(2), pages 281-292.
  10. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2002. "Start-ups, Venture Capitalists and the Capital Gains Tax," CEPR Discussion Papers 3263, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Myers, Stewart C. & Majluf, Nicholas S., 1984. "Corporate financing and investment decisions when firms have information that investors do not have," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 187-221, June.
  12. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-44, June.
  13. Boadway, Robin & Sato, Motohiro, 1999. " Information Acquisition and Government Intervention in Credit Markets," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(3), pages 283-308.
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