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Liquidity, Risk, and Occupational Choices

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  • Matteo Bobba

Abstract

We explore which financial constraints matter most in the choice of becoming an entrepreneur. We consider a randomly assigned welfare programme in rural Mexico and show that cash transfers significantly increase entry into entrepreneurship. We then exploit cross-household variation in the timing of these transfers and find that current occupational choices are significantly more responsive to the transfers expected for the future than to those currently received. Guided by a simple occupational choice model, we argue that the programme has promoted entrepreneurship by enhancing willingness to bear risk as opposed to simply relaxing current liquidity constraints. Copyright 2013, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Matteo Bobba, 2013. "Liquidity, Risk, and Occupational Choices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 491-511.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:80:y:2013:i:2:p:491-511
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rds031
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Joulfaian, David & Rosen, Harvey S, 1994. "Sticking It Out: Entrepreneurial Survival and Liquidity Constraints," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(1), pages 53-75, February.
    2. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2009. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(1), pages 423-423.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shenoy, Ajay, 2014. "Risky Income or Lumpy Investments? Evidence on Two Theories of Under-Specialization," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt4649j8k0, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    2. Avitabile,Ciro & Bobba,Matteo & Pariguana,Marco, 2015. "High school track choice and financial constraints : evidence from urban Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7427, The World Bank.
    3. Avitabile, Ciro & Bobba, Matteo & Pariguana, Marco, 2017. "High School Track Choice and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Urban Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 10506, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Fitz, Dylan, 2013. "Development Chutes and Ladders: A Joint Impact Evaluation of Asset and Cash Transfers in Brazil," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150254, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    5. Marco Caliendo & Jens Hogenacker & Steffen Künn & Frank Wießner, 2015. "Subsidized start-ups out of unemployment: a comparison to regular business start-ups," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 45(1), pages 165-190, June.
    6. Alessandro Tondini & Cally Ardington & Ingrid Woolard, 2017. "Public pensions and elderly informal employment: Evidence from a change in retirement age in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 206, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    7. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Weißenberger, Martin, 2016. "Personality traits and the evaluation of start-up subsidies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 87-108.
    8. Bobba, Matteo & Flabbi, Luca & Levy Algazi, Santiago, 2017. "Labor Market Search, Informality and Schooling Investments," IZA Discussion Papers 11170, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Bruhn, Miriam & Zia, Bilal, 2011. "Stimulating managerial capital in emerging markets : the impact of business and financial literacy for young entrepreneurs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5642, The World Bank.
    10. Harold Alderman & Ruslan Yemtsov, 2014. "How Can Safety Nets Contribute to Economic Growth?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 28(1), pages 1-20.
    11. Bazzi, Samuel & Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep, 2015. "It's all in the timing: Cash transfers and consumption smoothing in a developing country," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 267-288.
    12. Escobal, Javier & Benites, Sara, 2012. "Algunos impactos del programa JUNTOS en el bienestar de los niños: Evidencia basada en el estudio Niños del Milenio
      [Impacts of the Conditional Cash Transfer programme JUNTOS for children in Peru]
      ," MPRA Paper 56480, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Jensen, Nathaniel & Barrett, Christopher B. & Mude, Andrew, 2014. "Index Insurance and Cash Transfers: A Comparative Analysis from Northern Kenya," MPRA Paper 61372, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Falco, Paolo, 2014. "Does risk matter for occupational choices? Experimental evidence from an African labour market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 96-109.
    15. Imbert, Clément, 2016. "Short-term Migration Rural Workfare Programs and Urban Labor Markets - Evidence from India," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1116, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    16. Andrew D. Foster & Esther Gehrke, 2017. "Consumption Risk and Human Capital Accumulation in India," NBER Working Papers 24041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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