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Liquidity constraints, spillovers, and entrepreneurship: evidence from a cash transfer program

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  • Rafael P. Ribas

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

This paper exploits a liquidity shock from a welfare program in Brazil to investigate the role of financial constraints, in opposition to general equilibrium mechanisms, in explaining entrepreneurship. Previous research focuses exclusively on how liquidity changes recipients’ behavior through direct effects on reducing constraints. However, liquidity shocks may also produce spillovers from recipients to others and thereby indirectly affect entrepreneurial decisions. This paper presents a method for decomposing the liquidity shock into direct effects associated with relieving individual constraints, and indirect effects associated with spillovers to other individuals. Results suggest that the program, which assists 20 percent of Brazilian households, increased the number of small entrepreneurs by 10 percent. However, this increase is entirely driven by the indirect effect. Further tests suggest that this effect is associated with an increase in private transfers between households. Thus, entrepreneurship tends to respond more to the interaction between households than to financial constraints.

Suggested Citation

  • Rafael P. Ribas, 2020. "Liquidity constraints, spillovers, and entrepreneurship: evidence from a cash transfer program," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1131-1158, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:55:y:2020:i:4:d:10.1007_s11187-019-00178-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-019-00178-1
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Entrepreneurship; Financial constraint; Cash transfers; Informality; Indirect effect; Private transfers;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • H31 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Household
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • R28 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Government Policy
    • R51 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Finance in Urban and Rural Economies
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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