Firm Foundations and the Role of Financial Constraints
Improving the economic conditions for small and medium sized firms as well as start-ups is high on the agenda of policy makers. In this paper we discuss some policy options for fostering the creation of new enterprises. The discussion focuses on measures which aim at helping start-ups to overcome liquidity constraints. In order to provide the background for this discussion the paper provides some new empirical results on the determinants of firm foundations as well as some stylised facts on the occurrence of liquidity constraints in West-Germany. We analyse the regional distribution of start-up intensity and offer several hypotheses to explain this distribution. To a large extent, the regional distribution of start-ups can be explained by the existing industry structure, regional human capital as well as the regional public traffic infrastructure. Moreover, we show that liquidity constraints occur more often in small and young firms. Copyright 1997 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
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