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Entrepreneurship and Risk Aversion

  • Kamhon Kan
  • Wei-Der Tsai

    ()

Evans and Jovanovic (1989, Journal of Political Economy 97(4), 808–827) find that wealth is an important determinant of business startups due to liquidity constraints. However, Cressy (2000, Economic Letters 66, 235–240) argues that if risk aversion is a negative function of wealth, Evans and Jovanovic’s empirical results could be spurious and the positive effect of wealth could be due to the omission of risk aversion in the regression equation. In other words, according to Cressy, one’s wealth does not have any effect on business startups once the degree of risk aversion is accounted for. This paper attempts to investigate the validity of Cressy’s conjecture. We empirically examine the effect of wealth on the transition into self-employment, while allowing for the effect of risk aversion. Our empirical findings show that Evans and Jovanovic’s (1989) results are robust, i.e., wealth has a positive effect on business startups even allowing for the confounding effects of risk aversion. Copyright Springer 2006

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Small Business Economics.

Volume (Year): 26 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (06)
Pages: 465-474

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Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:26:y:2006:i:5:p:465-474
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  1. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & David Joulfaian & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Entrepreneurial Decisions and Liquidity Constraints," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 334-347, Summer.
  2. Cressy, Robert, 2000. "Credit rationing or entrepreneurial risk aversion? An alternative explanation for the Evans and Jovanovic finding," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 235-240, February.
  3. Evans, David S & Jovanovic, Boyan, 1989. "An Estimated Model of Entrepreneurial Choice under Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(4), pages 808-27, August.
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  12. Blanchflower, D.G. & Oswald, A., 1991. "What Makes an Entrepreneur?," Economics Series Working Papers 99125, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  13. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Survival of the Fittest? An Analysis of Self-Employment Duration in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C140-55, March.
  14. Thomas Dunn & Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1996. "Financial Capital, Human Capital, and the Transition to Self-Employment:Evidence from Intergenerational Links," NBER Working Papers 5622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. van Praag, C M & Cramer, J S, 2001. "The Roots of Entrepreneurship and Labour Demand: Individual Ability and Low Risk Aversion," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 45-62, February.
  16. 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.
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